All Norway: O’s Torstein Horgmo Claims Second, Stale Sandbech Third at Oakley & Shaun White Air + Style Beijing
The heart of Beijing shook, rattled and rolled on Saturday night.
Electricity shot through the freezing air in China’s Capital as Oakley & Shaun White Air + Style Beijing dazzled the Far East crowd with a tantalizing snowboarding and music spectacle.
And the riding was, well, as epic as expected in the breathtaking Olympic “Bird’s Nest” Stadium – dominated, for the most part, by Norwegians.
Throwing down mental maneuvers rarely seen before the contest, it was Ulrik Badertscher who upended the field for the Air + Style Beijing Title, took home $10,000 for claiming the “Red Bull Best Trick” and tallied a whopping 1,000 TTR Points.
But up to the last moments of the competition, it was no done deal by any means.
As the Super Finals commenced following a heated battle all evening long, it was Oakley Team Star Torstein Horgmo who would set the bar for the finalists – racking up a big 88.33 score with a Cab Double Cork 1080 in his first run.
Fellow Oakley Team Rider and Norwegian countryman Stale Sandbech, who impressively smashed his way into the Finals after breaking his way out of qualifying and past the field, stayed consistent the whole way through, securing a solid 81.67 with a Backside 1260 Mute Grab.
But it would be Badertscher – also a Norwegian – who would shock the entire Bird’s Nest with a Backside 1260 Rodeo Grab – landing him a whopping 91.67 for the lead. It never relinquished…and victory was his. Torstein would claim second place, followed by Stale to round out the podium.
The overall result also impacted the overall TTR landscape, of course – with Stale taking over the lead in the overall rankings after the hard-fought finish.
The entire contest was a true battle – with the head-to-head format creating drama, as riders knocked friends and rivals alike, out of contention.
Seppe Smits was perhaps the rider to come out most on fire in the first round, scoring in the 90’s twice to advance. But back-to-back falls in the second round saw him bow out of the event – setting the stage for more competitive insanity.
Oakley’s Sebastien Toutant, who claimed the first-ever Oakley & Shaun White Air + Style Title in 2010, was also solid out of the gates – cruising into the second round with style. But despite a super impressive Double Back Rodeo in the second round, Badertscher would knock him out with some ridiculous tricks of his own.
In summary, the riding indeed pushed the envelope of freestyle snowboarding – as advertised – in one of the most iconic and massively epic sports venues on the Planet.
But it wouldn’t be a proper Air + Style without popular culture flare and rocking music to get the already-raucous crowd jumping.
Some of the country’s most prominent DJ’s sent shockwaves throughout the stadium, while one of the most known music artists in China put down a mini concert for the masses to close out what was a truly epic event in the heart of the Far East.
Recap videos coming later…stay tuned!