Burton European Open: Halfpipe Finals

Here’s our lowdown of the BEO Halfpipe Finals, won by Ursina Haller and Iouri Podladtchikov.
Michael Schärer midway through a frontside 9 © Danny Burrows
By Danny Burrows

Today was the final day of competition here at the 2014 Burton European Open, with the infamous 140 metre LAAX pipe hosting both the Men’s and Women’s finals. Each rider would have 3 runs; with a total of 100 points available split 60/40 between your Trick score and Flow score.

With Enni Rukajärvi injured, there would only be five riders competing in the Women’s finals. In the first run the spectators were treated to a grand display of 5s and 7s, with Ursina Haller’s final front 7 securing her an early lead over fellow Swiss rider Verena Rohrer.

There were few changes in round two until Verena earned a massive Trick Score of 46.9 to prise Ursina from pole position. But Ursina struck back with a front 9, back-to-back 5s, a Method and her signature front 7 to regain her lead.

Ursina Haller wins her first BEO halfpipe title © Danny Burrows

Starting the final round in reverse order, 16-year-old American Zoe Kalapos was unable to break out of fifth place, and after falling Lucile Lefevre couldn’t move up the rankings. Carla Somaini bailed on her Alley-Oop Mctwist and remained in third. That left Verena the task of unseating Ursina, but her back-to-back 5s and front 7 didn’t make the cut.

With victory in hand, Ursina rolled out a run worthy of the best. She stomped a beautifully grabbed front 9, back-to-back 5s, backside air and front 7 to up her score to an astounding 92.2 to win the BEO. “This has always been my favourite event,” she said after her win, “and I have never won it until now, so I am so stoked.”

Christian Haller has a sick backside 5 © Danny Burrows

The Swiss were dominant coming into the finals with Iouri Podladtchikov, Christian Haller and Markus Keller sitting in the first, second and third spots respectively. In round one 15-year-old Jake Pates put in a stunning run and led the pack until a perfect medley of tricks from Iouri knocked him out of first position.

Markus Keller making the simple look good © Danny Burrows

In round two Markus Keller (who had vowed to not spin over a 7 in the finals, which is a rarity in these days of double corks) dialled an Alley-Oop 5, Melon to fakie, Haakon flip, backside Alley-Oop 3, fakie Method and a Chicken wing 7 but was unable to secure a spot on the podium. Janne Korpi came through with a clutch of bangers and leapt into fourth. Kosuke Hosokawa put in a strong showing on behalf of the Japanese contingent and moved into second, but was bumped down by the young Jake Pates and then by Christian Haller.

Janne Korpi, switch and spinning with style © Danny Burrows

In the final run, Janne Korpi (the second oldest competitor in the finals after Keller) landed a Melon to fakie, Cab double 10, Alley-Oop back 5, back 5 Mute and front 10 and shot up into third place, forcing Jake into fourth where he was unable to escape. Only Christian Haller could now beat Iouri, but after falling handed over victory and left Iouri to take a stunning victory lap that was pure gold. “I was never riding at such a high level as I am now and Laax is a good place for me as it seems like I’m a specialist in this pipe.”

Iouri Podladtchikov stomps a massive front 9 tail © Danny Burrows

The next contest on the TTR event calendar is the X-Games in Aspen, USA, from January 23–26. See you there!

In the meantime, catch up with the whole of the BEO Halfpipe Finals by clicking the below story.

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