Today marked the final day of slopestyle competition for the snowboarders here at Copper mountain with the men’s and women’s half pipe event set to take place tomorrow morning.
149 halfpipe athletes and 194 slopestyle athletes made their way to Copper from over 37 countries to compete in the first North American Olympic Qualifier of the season and the first North American 5 Star event on the World Snowboard Tour calender. Many athletes expressed their excitement that, for the first time, an event would gain them FIS points and World Snowboard Tour points at the same time, possibly easing the schedules of today's extremely busy professional snowboarders.
Athletes like Seppe Smits seemed no less than thrilled with the development, “You can gain all your points for whatever you want to do, the Olympics, or to get a good ranking with TTR, you can combine both here.” he explained. “It’s a perfect opportunity and I hope there will be more contests like this”
Despite today’s unfavorable weather the slopestyle event ran as scheduled and the 16 slopestyle finalists overcame conditions to impress the judges for the top spot, but only three would make the cut.
For the men, those three were Chas Guldemond (USA) in first with an incredible 92.5 points followed Roope Tonteri (FIN) with an 80.2, and rounding out the podium was Peetu Piironinen (FIN) with 78.2. Guldemond’s run consisted of Frontside 270 to Frontside Boardslide on the down rail and a stylish Blunt 450 out on the pole jam feature. For the jump line, he did a switch backside 720 mute on the first jump, a cab double cork 1260 melon grab on the second and capped his run off with a massive backside double cork 1260 mute on the third and final jump.
Roope claimed his second place finish with a cab 270 to frontside boardslide on the downrail into an underflip mute out of the pole-jam feature. On the jumps he started out with a frontside 720 melon, into a huge backside 12 mute and finished off with a stylish cab 10 indy.
Peetu boosted onto the course with a switch hard way 270 to frontside boardside on the down rail followed up with a switch boardslide to 270 out on the pole-jam and a switch backside 720 mute on the first jump. The more technical jump came out on the bottom of the course where he stomped a cab double 900 into a giant backside 1080 mute on the last jump.
“It was an amazing event” said Chas about his win. “What made it cool was the World snowboard tour 5 star event is now also a FIS world cup, so there were a lot of new, fresh faces. The usual top 30 riders were still there but then you had all the other people from Russia, Yugoslavia, and every other country you could think of. And to win it was simply amazing!”
The three Women who made the podium were equally as pleased to have been a part of the history making event. Jaime Anderson (USA) was the clear leader with 83 Points, 8.8 points ahead of Kjersti Buaas (SUI) who came second place with an impressive 74.2. Isabel Derungs (SUI) claimed the third place spot with a respectable 71.5. Anderson achieved her score with a near flawless run consisting of a backside tailslide on the down rail and a 50/50 on the bus stop feature. She did a frontside 360 mute on the first jump, a backside 540 mute on the second and a switch backside 180 indy on the third.
Buaas did a backside noseslide on the downrail and a 50/50 backside 180 off the pole jam feature. Buaas took to the smaller jump in the course and did a switch backside 180 indy on the first, a frontside 360 stalefish on the second and a very clean backside 540 on the last jump.
Derungs did a backside lipslide on the down rail a 50/50 frontside 180 on the pole jam and a switch backside 180 on the first jump. She did a backside 360 on the second and backside rodeo 5 on the last.
Jamie Anderson was the 2010/2011 overall Women’s tour champion, when asked about her run and her experience at this event she said “it has all been unreal, I feel so lucky, I am so grateful to be here”
The only event yet to happen is snowboard Halfpipe, where 16 male and 8 female finalists will be throwing down everything they can to get onto the podium. Judging by the caliber of performance from today’s Slope athletes, pipe should be equally impressive and will be a must see as always.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow for the full coverage and live stream at COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Jan.12) - Live coverage of the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe finals from Copper Mountain begin at 11:30 a.m. EST Saturday on the USSA Network at www.ussnowboarding.com.
Men's Snowboard Slopestyle Results:
1. Chas Guldemond (USA) 92.5
2. Roope Tonteri (FIN) 80.2
3. Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) 78.2
4. Seppe Smits (BEL) 74.0
5. Billy Morgan (GBR) 72.7
6. Maxence Parrot (CAN) 72.5
7. Sven Thorgren (SWE) 72.0
8. Jordan Phillips (CAN) 68.5
9. Takahiro Ishida (JPN) 54.5
10. Gjermund Braaten (NOR) 41.5
Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Results:
1. Jamie Anderson (USA) 83.0
2. Kjersti Buaas (NOR) 74.2
3. Isabel Derungs (SUI) 71.5
4. Elena Koenz (SUI) 65.2
5. Urska Pribosic (SLO) 50.2
6. Sarka Pancochova (CZE) 50.0
7. Stefi Luxton (NZL) 30.2
8. Spencer O'Brien (CAN) 23.2