US team with great showing in slopestyle qualifiers Mammoth
Riders from the US have done their home country proud in the first rounds of qualifiers at the last stop of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix which serves as slopestyle and halfpipe World Cup event just like last year.
And with the slopestyle event also kicking off the national qualifier series for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, a stacked field from the hosting nation faced off against a pool of international talents.
In the women's event, Jamie Anderson underlined why she is the reigning Olympic slopestyle champion throwing down a tailslide 270 on the downrail into a 50/50 indy over a frame, a backside handplant at the quarterpipe, into an ollie over the tech rail before wrapping up her run with a frontside 180 indy to switch backside 540 mute, backside 540 indy and a cab 720 tail on the jump line.
An excellent run with which she took advantage of the creative set-up of the top part of the course best. It's very rare that a true quarterpipe feature is available for the riders to play with on a slopestyle course.
While Anderson, who is no stranger to the World Cup podium with seven top-3 results in eleven starts – and six of them being wins – earned the highest score of the day with a 96.00 of 100.00 her main rivals for another World Cup triumph are also coming from the US roster.
X Games gold medallist Julia Marino kept the momentum of her great performance in Aspen a few days ago with a 85.00 and the second rank of the first qualifier heat while Haley Langland, a 16-year-old rider who did her first full World Cup season last winter, wowed the judges in the second qualifier heat.
Langland earned a 90.33 for her frontside boardslide to backside boardslide (redirect), 50/50 indy off over the deck rail, a method at the hip and frontside 360 indy to backside 540 stalefish and a final cab 540 indy.
However, the trio from the hosting nation has to have Laurie Blouin on the list.
The 20-year-old Canadian descended on California with a second rank finish from Seiser Alm last weekend in her bag nailing it yesterday with a 86.00 for her first qualifier run consisting of a switch boardslide on the downrail, 50/50 stalefish on the frame, 50/50 at the deck rail, a tail grab over the hip and a backside 360 melon to frontside 540 stalefish to cab underflip melon.
Blouin therefore took the second rank of heat two earning her spot for the finals of the best eight female qualifiers which will also feature the likes of Aimee Fuller (GBR) and Tess Coady (NZL) from heat one as well as Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL) and Asami Hirano (JPN) from heat two.
Young gun stands out
I the men's qualifiers which was also staged in the double up format with the best of two runs counting, it was also a rider from the US bringing home the best run of the day.
Red Gerard kicked off things in heat two with a 89.66 setting the bar too high for his competitors landing a backside 270 gap to the bottom of the down-flat-down, crippler with stale grab on the pyramid rail, (50-50 gap off the rail to frontside air on the quarter pipe back onto the rail transferring over, michaelchuck nose on the hip, frontside 900 tail, switch backside double cork 1260, backside double cork 1080.
However, teammate Eric Willett (85.33) as well as Stale Sandbech (NOR) being back to business after his injury with a 84.00 for his cab hardway 270, boardslide 270, boardslide, indy, 50/50 backside 360, crippler, backside 900 mute, cab 900 stalefish, frontside 1080 indy as well as Francis Jobin (CAN; 81.66) came close.
Stale Sandbech is finally back where he belongs - in the finals of a slopestyle event
The finals of the top 16 men is completed by Tiarn Collins (NZL), Judd Henkes (USA), Nikolas Baden (USA), Dylan Thomas (USA), Brock crouch (USA) and Matias Schmitt (ARG) – all coming from heat one.
Isak Ulstein (NOR), Rene Rinnekangas (FIN), Kyle Mack (USA), Emil Andre Ulsletten (NOR), Petr Horak (CZE) and Chandler Hunt (USA) survived the cut in heat two.
The slopestyle finals are slated to take place this Friday, February 3, at 10 PM CET.
Live TV will be available on ORF Sport+, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Asia, SFR Sport 3, Teledelporte as well as online on cbcsports.ca.