Gone are the days that a great freerider can show up to a boardercross and have a chance in hell. Today’s race, the first event of the Vans Triple Crown in Breckenridge, Colorado, was a sure sign of things to come.

Yesterday’s qualifier set the stage for the main event. Euros, veterans of the World Cup, and a couple Canadians (Gaffney and Neilson) basically cleaned house. Philippe Conte of France, who won his first big boardercrosses last season, posted the fastest time with a 47.46. Right behind him was his brother, Nicolas, a relative no-namer in boardercross, who this summer was heard saying, “I can’t just let my brother win everything.” Seth Wescott was the top U.S. rider in qualifying, finishing seventh.

So today, under long-awaited snowy skies, the absolute best riders from all over the world (man, if you’ve never been to one of these events you have to check it out. Grom heaven.) butted heads on what most of them considered a well-designed course. With the new snow the course was pleasantly slower today than yesterday–it started getting pretty hairball yesterday afternoon.

Ueli Kestenholz is standing right here.

“It was a hard battle, my neck is hurting.”

As is Line Oestvald (Line won the first stop of the Swatch BX Tour in Solden), “Oh shit. That’s what I wanted to say.”

Well what can you expect?; it’s their second language. It actually was an insane battle. Get a bunch of riders together who have no problem with speed and are hungry as hell to win the ten grand, and it’s an impressive show of controlled chaos. The course itself didn’t seem to present too many dangers for top riders (all the shitty riders get hurt during practice and qualifying so by the main event it’s pretty clean), but there was the normal quota of entanglements and blowouts.

The biggest thing to happen in boardercross is the advent of teams. The obvious powerhouse is the Blue Window/Santa Cruz team, made up of top Euro racers, freestylers, and boardercross specailists. In some heats the first three spots went to the men in green (Blue Window), and that’s also how the finals ended up.

Philippe Conte, who had the fastest time yesterday, landed on top today, too. Behind him was perennial ruler Berti Denervaud, and third was Tor Bruserud (formerly of the Palmer team). There were no U.S. riders in the men’s final heat, leaving us all asking: who’s gonna step up and take Palmer’s place? Shaun will only be seen at select events like the X-Games and the Gravity Games.

The women’s race was equally green. Austrian Ine Potzl, the leading lady of the Blue Window team nabbed her first medal in almost a year. “I almost forgot what it felt like to win,” she said after. Canada’s Maelle Ricker, who qualified second, also finished second. And yesterday’s top qualifier, Doris Krings (also of Austria) ended up third.

Who impressed me other than the podium folk? I seriously think that Ueli Kestenholz is one of the best riders I’ve ever seen. I didn’t want to say it when he was here, though. For women, I’m always stoked on Burton rider Marguerite Cossettini and her fluid riding; bad luck and a couple wipeouts landed her in ninth today.

Oh, you should see the pipe. Holy shit. More on that and who’s going off when I get home in a little bit. Big Air qualifying is going on now, too. Three inches, man! We’re up to a thirteen-inch base out here. Whew!

MEN’S SNOWBOARD CROSS FINAL RESULTS

Rk.Bib SurnameFirstnameNatSponsortimePurse1 80CONTE PPHILIPPEFRA0$10,000
2 90DENERVAUD BERTRANDSUI0$6,500
3 430BRUSERUDTORNOR0$4,000
4 190GAFFNEYSCOTTCAN0$3,000
5 110MAIERHOFERCHRISTOPHAUT0$2,000
6 300KESTENHOLZUELISUI0$1,000
7 780NEILSONDREWCAN0$700
8 650SCHULZMARKUSA0$600
9 640BROWNJASON0$500
10 680HUSERMARCOSUI0$400
11 580EVANSJASONUSA0$300
12 410JANSSONHENNRIKSWE0$200
13 760CONTE NNICOLASFRA0 48.17$100
13 150BONACINAFABRIZIOITL0 49.34$10013 440BIE-LARSENBORRENOR0 49.59$100
13 20MARCIANDIDAVIDEITA0 49.87$100
17 750DELERUEXAVIERFRA0 48.68$100
17 120RAITMAIRGERNOT0 50.06$100
17 200LAMOUREUXJUSTINCAN0 50.65$100
17 1160BEAUREGARDERICCAN0 50.89$100
21 420THUEERNSTNOR0 49.95
21 770JORDANXAVIERSUI0 50.16
21 70BENSELINHARALDSUI0 50.27
*21 180IHAKSIJEFFCAN0 51.41
25 1120JONESJEREMYUSA0 50.20
25 620NEPTUNERYANUSA0 50.34
25 210COWTANCARLCAN0 51.49
25 500DEHMLOWLUCASUSA0 51.95
29 30SANTOPIETROGABRIELEAUS0 50.01
29 1560DOWDDAVEUSA0 51.33
29 1280GOLDBERGRUBECAN0 51.70
29 900KONINGMATTHEW0 52.02
33 560WESCOTTSETHUSA0 49.24
33 860FINCHANDYUSA0 50.62
33 1060FRIESENMARKCAN0 50.80
33 510BOWERRICKYUSA0 51.08
33 1890SMARTSHANEUSA0 51.46
33 850WAINWRIGHTBENCAN0 52.08
33 1700DESCHENESGUYCAN0 52.18
33 890ROSENGRENMICHAEL0 52.26
41 870ROBERTSONCHRISTIANUSA0 51.57
41 130SANDOZBASTIENSUI0 51.59
41 50GMEINERAXELAUT0 51.75
41 660SHRIVEMATTUSA0 51.91
41 1950NIERNBERGJOSHUSA0 51.99
41 930LOUGEERYAN0 52.00
41 1020STIEGBRANDONUSA0 52.12
41 490YOUNGTRAVISUSA0 52.31

WOMEN SNOWBOARD CROSS FINAL RESULTS

Rk.BibCodeSurnameFirstnameNatSponsortimePurse

1 2030POETZLINEAUT0$7,500
2 2280RICKERMAELLECAN0$4,500
3 2020KRINGSDORISAUT0$2,200
4 2140JOHNSONAMYUSA0$1,400
5 2170MAHANNABRITTNEYUSA0$1,200
6 2200PILAVAKISNILLARDUSA0$1,000
7 3050OLSONLESLEEUSA0$700
8 2120KELLENBERKATHRIN0$600
9 2390COSSETTINMARGUERITAUS0$500
10 3010YAMADAMARNIUSA0$400
11 2240OESTVOLDLINENOR0
12 2260FRIEDENTANJANOR0
13 2370ZELLJULIEUSA0 57.11
13 3070MELINNDENAUSA0 58.96
15 2320FUKUDAMAYUMICAN0 57.28
15 2090PARKERSUZY0 1:00.40
17 3220RUDISHAUSCORRIEUSA0 57.50
17 2290GLAZIERLORICAN0 58.52
17 2380SUNDBERGJAMIEUSA0 59.82
17 2450PISCHKEMEGANUSA0 59.92
21 3150DALPIAZJESSICAUSA0 57.79
21 2010PETERSENSNOW0 57.94
21 2400QUINNSTARCAN0 58.23
21 2500WINTERSCHMARYLUSA0 1:00.04