With the New Year now ushered in, the anticipation is building in the Swiss mountain town of Davos for the TTR 6-Star O’Neill Evolution.
The 120 riders are gathering at the foot of the Jakobshorn for an O’Neill Evolution like no other, with the spectacle kicking off from January 9th as the world’s best snowboarders rock into the Swiss town to fight it out for TTR glory.
The O’Neill Evolution will see the likes of Dimi De Jong (NED), Victor De Le Rue (FRA) and Elias Elhardt (GER) stepping it up on the big stage. The Euro crew will be further bolstered by Colin Frei (SUI), Olivier Gittler (FRA) and Jamie Nicholls (GBR). Last year’s Highest Air winner Manuel Pietropoli (ITA) will be in attendance alongside Martin Cernik (CZE) and Seppe Smits (BEL). James Hamilton (NZE), one of the most dominating during the down-under season, will be out to prove he’s got what it takes in the Northern Hemisphere contests as will American rider Tim Humphreys…
The first TTR 6-Star competition on European soil in 2009 has a plethora of points spread over two formats and promises to set up for some exciting new ranking changes.
This year’s O’Neill Evolution is all about defying gravity, and acclaimed shaper Claes Hoegstrom is back to ensure the world renowned 6-Star Evolution quarterpipe will help the riders do exactly that: “We have made the quarterpipe 10.2m high this year. It’s got more transition and less compression so you need more speed – so we’ve also made the in-run longer” Claes explains. “The idea is I want the riders to go higher.”
Claes is also responsible for the new 5-Star TTR slopestyle course, taking the place of the halfpipe for 2009. The Evolution slopestyle course will feature a rail at the top, two kickers in the middle, and a wall with a small quarterpipe at the bottom. It is all Canadian inspired with a log tree rail and pine trees at the start gate. “It’s a short fast course, which will challenge the riders,” says Claes, “The idea was to make a compact but entertaining course so that everyone watching can see the entire run. It will be exciting especially with the knockout round format.”
In addition, the first kicker will slowly be carved into an intricate ice sculpture throughout the competition – the creation to be revealed in the finals. And DJ Idem along with a VJ will set up within the slopestyle course to entertain the riders as well as the thousands of spectators who turn up for the evening floodlit event.
Qualifications start on Wednesday January 7th. With the $100,000 prize purse and the much sought after TTR ranking points on offer, the riders won’t be holding back.Watch all the action live from 2.45pm on Friday on Mpora TV!