Captions: Hondo

All Photos: Chris Wellhausen

Sage Kotsenburg wins 2014 Mammoth Grand Prix slopestyle #5, gets spot on US Olympic team

Part of the Five Stops To Sochi series presented by Mammoth

 

There couldn’t have been more pressure on Park City, Utah’s Sage Kotsenburg heading into today’s final Olympic qualifying slopestyle. Not that he’d ever tell you that. Sage approaches most things in his life with a laidback manner, as evidenced by how relaxed he looked while taking his runs today. But make no mistake—there was a lot at stake, even if Sage wasn’t letting the situation affect him. The heat got turned up for Sage on Thursday when Anchorage, Alaska’s Ryan Stassel pulled out a win at the first Mammoth Grand Prix slopestyle, leaving Sage in second. Only the two best scores count from the five-stop US team qualifying series, so the win gave Ryan a slight lead in the standings over Sage. Despite Sage placing second three times during the qualifying series, that one win by Ryan moved him into third on the team standings and Sage into fourth. With the exact number of US slopestyle riders going to Sochi still undetermined, fourth was a dangerous spot to be in.

All that to say Sage had to win today if he wanted to totally secure a spot on the US Olympic team. Shaun White was absent since he already locked down his position on the team, so Sage’s task was made just a little easier, but he still had to deal with Brandon Davis and Kyle Mack who also needed to win. And then there was Ryan and Chas Guldemond who would have both been happy with a win to really solidify their spots.

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Finally got his win and made the US Olympic slopestyle team today like a boss.

But it only took one solid first run from Sage to start deflating the situation. He made some change ups for the rail line he did Thursday, adding a gap backside 270, 270 out and half-Cab 50-50 to backside 360, but on the jumps he put down a familiar line of frontside 900 nose grab, Cab 1260 double cork, and backside 1080 double cork nose to tail grab. That gave him a score of 95.40.

Pulling out all the stops on his second run, Sage went for a backside 1260 Holy Crail grab on the last hit but couldn’t quite put it down. Although Sage landed a Cab 1260 Holy Crail at the 2013 Beijing Air & Style, today would have been the first time the backside version was landed in competition. But with X Games Big Air coming up before Sochi, Sage is still hoping to land one there.

Though none of the other riders held anything back, they still couldn’t touch Sage’s score even after their second runs and Sage finally collected his much needed win.

“It’s a lot of stress taken off,” Sage said of his win. “Everyone else was putting so much pressure on it, not towards me, but you know, it’s the Olympics, it’s the first time for slopestyle. It’s cool just to be going to Olympics, it’s going to be a crazy experience.”

Sixteen-year-old Kyle Mack got second place with a run that included a backside 1260 but the result was bitter sweet for him as he had recently found out that he didn’t have enough FIS points to be eligible for the Olympics.

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Kyle Mack didn’t make the US team last time but this won’t be the last we see of him.

“With a bunch of FIS rules, and FIS points and things, I actually ended up not getting enough points to be eligible, because of all the World Cups that got cancelled,” Kyle said. “But I’m glad that I was able to land two runs, two days in a row that put me on the podium.”

Ryan Stassel picked up third place with a replica of the run that got him the win on Thursday including a frontside 1080 and backside 1260, but today it wasn’t enough to beat Sage again.

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Your 2014 Mammoth Grand Prix men’s slopestyle winners, left to right: Kyle Mack, Sage Kotsenburg, and Ryan Stassel.

Jamie Andersonpicks up another win, Karly Shorr, Jessika Jenson, and Jordie Karlinski battle for third and fourth US team spots

Jamie Anderson continued her winning streak this afternoon but the real battle was for the third and fourth spots on the US team. Like the guys, it’s currently not clear how many quota spots the US will actually get for slopestyle—it all depends on how international riders place at the FIS World Cup taking place at Stoneham, Quebec this weekend. In the event that four women can go to the Olympics for the US, top contenders Karly Shorr, Jessika Jenson, and Jordie Karlinksi were all looking for the final two slots behind Jamie and Ty Walker. With Jamie taking the win today it was impossible for any of the other riders to get enough points to steal Ty’s second place spot, so even though Ty ended up in fifth she would still be going to Sochi.

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Going big equaled a big day for Karly Shorr on the US Olympic team standings.

It was Karly Shorr who got second with a run that included a switch backside 540 and a huge backside 360 japan. Jessika Jenson found her way into third with a backflip, backside 540 and Cab 720 on the jump line. Jordie Karlinksi, who picked up two second place finishes on Thursday, finished fourth today.

In the US team rankings, today’s results bumped Karly into third and Jessika into fourth and the two are currently looking good to represent the US at Sochi if four women end up going for slopestyle.

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Your 2014 Mammoth Grand Prix women’s slopestyle winners left to right: Karly Shorr, Jamie Anderson, and Jessika Jenson.

 

Stay tuned as the official US Olympic slopestyle and halfpipe teams are announced tomorrow.

See what happened at the rest of the Mammoth Grand Prix Olympic qualifying series here

Top Four US Olympic Team Men’s Slopestyle Qualification Standings

Combined points from two best scores after all Grand Prix slopestyle stops

1. Shaun White: 2,000

2. Sage Kotsenburg: 1,800 (Tie breaker next best result: 800)

3. Chas Guldemond: 1,800 (Tie breaker next best result: 400)

4. Ryan Stassel: 1,600

 

2014 Mammoth Grand Prix Finals #5 Men’s Results

1. Sage Kotsenburg

2. Kyle Mack

3. Ryan Stassel

4. Brandon Davis

5. Eric Beauchemin

6. Chas Guldemond

7. Nik Baden

8. Spencer Link

9. Ian Thorley

10. Brett Moody

11. Justin Morgan

12. Gabe Ferguson

 

Top Four US Olympic Team Women’s Slopestyle Qualification Standings

Combined points from two best scores after all Grand Prix slopestyle stops

1. Jamie Anderson: 2,000

2. Ty Walker: 1,600 (Tie breaker next best result: 1,000)

3. Karly Shorr: 1,600 (Tie breaker next best result: 800)

4. Jessika Jenson: 1,400

 

2014 Mammoth Grand Prix Finals #5 Women’s Results

1. Jamie Anderson

2. Karly Shorr

3. Jessika Jenson

4. Jordie Karlinski

5. Ty Walker

6. Pheobe Novello

7. Kirra Kotsenburg

8. Julianne Brackett

9. Serena Shaw