Veterans Clark and White upstage Mammoth halfpipe field
US superstars Kelly Clark and Shaun White have claimed victory in the 2016-17 snowboard freestyle World Cup season's third halfpipe competition which took place at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Mammoth Mountain, CA.
Defending Mammoth champion Clark, the most successful snowboarder of all times, was on fire in the final of the six best qualifying women of whom only three did compete due to other competition obligations. However, the three remaining girls delivered a great show.
Clark, a three-time Olympic medallist, stomped a solid second run consisting of frontside air, backside 540, frontside 1080, cab 720, crippler and a final backside air to earn the high score of 91.75.
“I'm really happy that I put down a run like I did today. I think regardless of the circumstances or how many people are in the event you wanna do a run you came to do,” said Clark.
The 33-year-old relegated Haruna Matsumoto (JPN; 87.50) to the second rank who had landed a frontside air to backside air, frontside 900, backside 900, frontside 720, cab 720 and a frontside 540. Hannah Teter (USA; 36.25) placed third after bailing on her final backside 900.
A stars and stripes kinda thing
In the men's event, which featured all registered athletes of the Grand Prix after the qualifiers had to be postponed several times due to the bad weather conditions, Shaun White celebrated a decent return to the Word Cup tour earning his career's fifth, the first since 2013.
The 2006 and 2010 Olympic champion landed an impressive first run wowing the judges with a method to frontside double cork 1080 mute, cab double cork 1080 stale, frontside 540 stale, double mctwist 1260 japan and a frontside 900 to finish things off.
Earning a score of 94.00 White underlined that he is on a good way to become who he was before Sochi 2014 – the man to beat when it comes down to halfpipe riding.
“I'm feeling great. You know, the weather wasn't great, we just kept waiting, waiting and waiting. It was tough to sit around thinking about what you would do. I didn't have the best contest at X Games so I was excited to come here and be the normal me and put some runs down,” White stated.
Ryan Wachendorfer (90.75), who earned his career's first podium as second with a frontside 900 tail to double michelchuck, frontside double cork 1080, cab 720, frontside 720, cab double cork 1080 as well as Louie Vito (83.25) completed the all-American podium sweep.
Their teammates Gregory Bretz (82.25) and Jake Pates (81.75) also added up to the great showing of the home roster finishing as respective fourth and fifth.
In total, eight riders from the US made it to the top-10 with reigning world champion and X Games gold medallist Scotty James (AUS; 75.25) and his fellow countryman from down under Kent Callister (69.00) being the only ones to keep up with the hosting nation's team as respective sixth and eighth.
The snowboard freestyle World Cup tour continues next week in Quebec City, Canada.
From February 9 to 12, 2017, the season's fifth slopestyle and final big air World Cup stop which also serves as final event of the Super Series will take place during the Snowjamboree 2017.