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    Name:Eric Willett
    Lives In:United States
  • Can Peetu Piiroinen Become World Champ Again?

    Fresh after taking on the Americans at the Vancouver Olympic Games, Peetu Piiroinen is back on European soil and he has the Swatch TTR World Snowboarding title fixed firmly in his sights. This weekend see's Oslo host Terje Haakonsen's legendery Oakley Arctic Challenge, and with a star studded line up including Eric Willett, Antti Autti, Mikkel Bang and a host of other riders, it could be the best one yet.

    This year see's the Oakley adopt a Slopestyle format. This shouldnt phase Peetu as he is the perfect embodiment of a Swatch TTR World Snowboard Champion. Versatile across a verity of formats, consistent through out an entire season, and able to perform under pressure, Peetu Piiroinen just needs to finish in 5th place or higher to secure an unassailable tour lead and become the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Champion for the second year in a row.

    Currently sitting in World No.3 on the TTR World Ranking list, grom Gjermund Braaten (NOR), will need to put on a solid performance at TAC to defend this spot, as there are many riders slated to be present who could challenge his position in the rankings. In fact, every rider present who is currently in the TTR Top10 stands the chance of moving into the World No. 3 spot: Marko Grilc (SLO), Antti Autti (FIN), Christian Haller (SUI), Stale Sandbech (NOR), Eric Willett (USA) and Janne Korpi (FIN). These riders are all looking to get a piece of the end of season Swatch TTR prize purse of $200,000 USD as well as the guaranteed invites to next season's 6Star events.

    So, with all this action afoot, make sure you dont miss the event! Visit http://www.ttrworldtour.com/events/season-0910/6star/oakley-arctic-challenge.html for more details!
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  • The Winter Dew Tour: Winners, Injuries, And The Looming Shadow Of The Olympics

    Winter Dew Tour 2010 West Dover, Vermont
    The whirlwind of the 2009-2010 Winter Dew Tour has come to a close after the final event this past weekend at Mount Snow. With a different overall atmosphere and vibe resulting from the timing of the Winter Olympics and the shocking monumental injuries, this competition was an emotional roller coaster surrounded by drama and what seemed to be lack of interest. Many big names were missing from the last stop of the Dew Tour because of a little thing called being on the US Olympic team, so this provided a huge window of opportunity for the rookies to get in the spotlight. Regardless of speculation and which prime time events were being aired simultaneously, the riders didn't let it affect their riding or their attitudes. Who knows if they even noticed? They were there to thrown down, and throw down they did. Here are the final winners in each event:

    Men's Freeski Slopestyle - Andreas Hatveit

    Men's Freeski Superpipe - Jossi Wells

    Men's Snowboard Superpipe - JJ Thomas

    Men's Snowboard Slopestyle - Sage Kotsenburg

    Women's Snowboard Superpipe - Kaitlyn Farrington

    Women's Snowboard Slopestyle - Jamie Anderson

    In the men's freeski events, Andreas Hatveit's performance at each stop was mind blowingly consistent and flawless. He was at the top of the podium in Breckenridge and then had a 2nd place finish at Snowbasin and came into the last stop of the Dew Tour tied with Tom Wallisch. This Norwegian Dew Tour newbie took home first place in Vermont along with the title of freeski's Dew Tour champ in slopestyle.

    The race for first place in men's freeski superpipe was filled with top dogs like Simon Dumont, Jossi Wells, Xavier Bertoni, and Peter Olenick. After a final balls out, crowd pleasing run from Simon Dumont that landed him in first place at Mount Snow, it was Jossi Wells who ended up with the overall Dew Tour win. This kiwi had nothing to complain about after a stand out season so far that rightfully earned him the championship.

    Now for the drama that is men's snowboard superpipe. After the crash of Kevin Pearce that hushed crowds across the nation, Danny Davis' almost perfect journey to the Olympics followed by a spinal injury that took him out for the rest of the reason, and many other top riders missing due to Team USA rules and regulations that restricts them from competing in any event before the Olympics, we begin to wonder, was this year's Dew Tour doomed from the start? In a difficult time, it's hard to focus on an event like the Winter Dew Tour when it seems like there are so many bigger and more crucial things to be worrying about. This year's Dew Tour was fighting for appreciation against the looming shadow of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics along with the fact that the last stop was being aired the same weekend of the NFL Superbowl. Well, I hate to disappoint but the athletes still left in the fight for the championship could care less about Peyton Manning or the Saints, and I believe the energy of the upcoming Olympics and their fallen friends only inspired their riding.

    JJ Thomas was the epitome of inspired. Coming out of hibernation in the contest scene, JJ let everyone know he hadn't lost his edge. With his top performances in superpipe alongside stiff competition, Thomas seemed very relaxed and just stoked to be riding. Although he was not selected for the U.S.Olympic Snowboard Team, his riding this season has been impressive and fluid. JJ Thomas took home the Toyota Championship title and the Dew Tour Cup followed by Steve Fisher and the injured Danny Davis.

    Keeping up with the big dogs, at 16, Sage Kotsenburg became the youngest athlete ever to be named the Winter Dew Tour Cup Champ in men's snowboard slopestyle. Torstein Horgmo, Tyler Flanagan, and Eric Willet all had their own bag of tricks at each stop but Kotsenburg was hungry for the win and stomped his way to the top.

    Women's superpipe also had a lot of familiar names missing after the announcement of who will be heading to Vancouver on Team USA. Again, this allowed for some young guns to duke it out for top honors. Kaitlyn Farrington and Kelly Marren seemed to be the top two contenders for the Dew Cup. At the last stop of the tour, 15-year-old Maddy Shaffrick threw down a solid run that ultimately gave her a second place finish at Mount Snow. Rookie Kaitlyn Farrington was ready to bring it on her second run through the pipe. With a clean inverted 720 (the only chick to do so), a huge 540, and consistency and style throughout, Kaitlyn earned her spot on top of the podium and the Dew Tour Cup in her hands.

    One event that did not follow the trend of surprising or unexpected was women's snowboard slopestyle. Jamie Anderson seems to be competing with herself these days and continues to come out on top after winning in Vermont and the Dew Tour Champ title. However, all these ladies were ready to lay it all out on the course. Coming into the last stop, Spencer O'Brien, Jenny Jones, and Anderson all had equal chances to take home the Cup. The girls were going huge with massive spins and throwing down presses that put most guys to shame. Ultimately, it was Jamie's last run that was deemed one of the best female slopestyle runs in Dew Tour history (scoring a record 96.25) that clinched the win. It was complete with text book tailpresses, perfect boardslides and frontboards, an insane switch backside 540, frontside 720, and was rounded out with a floater of a backside 180. The rest of the gals just couldn't hang after that.

    Congrats to all the competitors and winners of the Winter Dew Tour. You can all breathe now. Sit back, relax, and get ready to see what our U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team has in store for us.
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