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Thursday, March 1, 2012
Updated: March 3, 12:50 PM ET
Anderson, Ostreng win BEO Slopestyle

By Colin Bane
ESPN Action Sports

BEO
The 2012 Burton European Open was postponed this year due to early-season lack of snow, then it came back with a vengance.

BEO Slopestyle BEO Halfpipe

American snowboarder Jamie Anderson holds the top spot in both the TTR World Snowboard Tour rankings and the Burton Global Open Series after beating out Finnish rider Enni Rukajärvi and Swiss rider Isabel Derungs to top the Women's Slopestyle podium on Thursday at the Burton European Open at LAAX, Switzerland.

Anderson's score of 91.98 in her second of three runs held strong, leaving her to take a victory lap in run 3. She improved to 93.58 with a run featuring a backside tailslide in the top rail section, a frontside 360 to backside 540 in the step-up/step-down rhythm section jumps at the top of the course, a Cab 720 tail grab and a switch backside 540 indy grab on the big booters, and a backside lipslide to frontside 360 out on a banked brick wall feature in the jib section.

"It's so beautiful out here in Laax," Anderson said. "It's so inspiring to be out here riding with everybody."

Anderson, who also won the Women's Slopestyle semi-finals event on Wednesday is undefeated in this season's Burton Global Open Series after earlier wins at the Burton Canadian Open in January and the Burton New Zealand Open in August. She heads into the 30th anniversary Burton U.S. Open next week with a commanding overall lead. She's also the far and away leader in the TTR World Snowboard Tour with 873.08 points, which is roughly 216 points ahead of second and third ranked Ty Walker Shelly Gotlieb.

Rukajärvi posted a score of 81.80 in run 3 to hold on to second place with the help of a switch backside 540 to frontside 360 tail grab combo in the rhythm section and a huge backside 540 and Cab 720 in the big jumps, but stopped short of breaking out the Cab 900 that might have brought the challenge to Anderson. "It went really well," Rukajärvi said, in an interview after the competition. "I'm so stoked about my last run."

Derungs was the local favorite, and nudged Canadian rider Spencer O'Brien off the podium with the help of a massive backside rodeo melon grab and switch backside 540 stalefish grab in her third run. Derungs is now ranked fourth overall in the TTR World Tour slopestyle rankings with 631.53 points.

Ostreng
Aleksander Ostreng dug deep in run three to win the Burton European Open, beating out Roope Tonteri and Peetu Piiroinen.

In the men's competition Norwegian rider Aleksander Ostreng finished on top in a contest otherwise dominated by Finnish riders: Roope Tonteri finished in second, Peetu Piiroinen finished third, and Ville Paumola just missed the podium in fourth position.

Ostreng's run 3 score of 90.08 bumped him from fourth place to the front of the pack, coming out ahead of all that Finsanity with a run featuring a half Cab 50-50 to backside 360 off, a backside rodeo and switch frontside rodeo in the rhythm section, a massive frontside 1080 indy grab, a backside 1260 melon grab, and a technical line through the jib section with a Cab 180 on to 360 out on the flat rail and a tailblunt 270 out on the down rail feature. After his score posted, Ostreng could barely believe it. "It was a big surprise, actually," he said. "That was fun, for sure. I didn't expect it at all. I guess we'll have a few beers tonight." 

peetu
We don't know where Peetu has been these past few contests, but we're glad to see him back.

In an even bigger surprise in Thursday's Slopestyle finals, Mark McMorris -- who won gold in both Slopestyle and Big Air at Winter X Games 2012 -- finished dead last in 15th place, failing to finish a complete run. And Sebastien Toutant, another favorite heading into this week's competition, finished in seventh after falls at the end of each of his first two runs and a disappointing score in his final run.

Still, Ostreng had his work cut out for him with both Tonteri and Piiroinen landing back-to-back 1260s in the booter section: Tonteri put a backside 12 and Cab 12 together, and Piiroinen put them in reverse order, Cab 12 to backside 12. "It was kind of a perfect day," said Tonteri, after the podium presentation. And Paumola emerged as a new rider to watch, with effortless style and huge tricks like a switch backside 1260 mute grab, proving he can hang with the best of them.

Ostreng's win leaves him in first place on the Burton Global Open Series -- ahead of Tonteri, Toutant, Paumola, and McMorris -- and in second place in the overall TTR World Snowboard Tour slopestyle rankings with 631.71 points, behind Tonteri (751.75) and ahead of American rider Eric Beauchemin (624.56).