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Piiroinen wins A&S; Smits takes TTR title

2/17/2012

Finnish snowboarder Peetu Piiroinen won the Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck-Tirol on Saturday at Innsbruck, Austria, throwing a backside 1260 mute grab to beat out Belgian rider Seppe Smits, Swedish rider Niklas Mattsson, and Canadian rider Sebastien Toutant in the four-man Super Final at the 6Star TTR event.

Smits was the biggest winner of the day, however, taking home the 2012 TTR World Tour Big Air championship title.

"That was such a nice surprise up there on that stage," Smits said just minutes after learning, from his perch on the podium, he'd won the Big Air title. "It's just a magical moment, a magical moment. It's so nice … It was an awesome contest and a great prize. So sick."

Piiroinen beat German rider Ethan Morgan in Round 1 of the 16-man head-to-head competition, then beat U.S. rider Eric Willett in the eight-man Round 2 to advance to the Super Final. Willett had been the leader in the TTR World Tour Big Air rankings heading into Saturday's competition; bumping him out of podium contention helped pave the way for Smits to take the 2011-12 season title.

Saturday's Super Final saw several triple cork attempts, but Piiroinen's Run 1 score of 91.70 held for first place. Smits finished in second place with 91.13 for his Cab 1260 mute grab, and Mattsson rounded out the podium in third place with 89.53 for his frontside double cork 1080 in Run 2. Toutant scored 89.07 in Run 2 for his frontside double cork 1080 mute grab, then tried -- and failed -- to up the ante with a triple cork attempt in Run 3.

Smits' championship title comes after a third-place podium finish at the 6Star O'Neill Evolution Big Air event in January in Switzerland, an eighth-place finish at the 6Star Air & Style Beijiing Big Air event in December, and a 22nd-place finish at the 5Star Billabong Ante Up in June at Whistler, British Columbia. He had been in sixth place in the Big Air rankings before Saturday's win.

Billabong Air & Style Innsbruck-Tirol 2012 Super Final results