Gretchen Bleiler World Superpipe Champs
Posting the two highest scores of the day, Gretchen Bleiler won the World Super Pipe Championships at Park City Mountain Resort, Utah. In a morning mired with falling snow and blustery conditions, Bleiler seemed to not even notice, busting out a big, clean Crippler followed by a 540-540 combination and posted a score of 91 on her first of three runs, and never looked back.
No other girl even came close in the invitational contest that featured twelve top pipe riders and included such heavyweights as Kelly Clark, Doriane Vidal, Hannah Teter, Stine Brun Kjeldass, Tricia Byrnes, and Natasza Zurek.
“I was kind of on autopilot,” says Bleiler of her first attempt and how she dealt with the conditions. “The first run was gnarly.” Even though she was in first place after the first round, she posted an even higher score of 93.3 on the second run, and was looking to do even better. “You were going to see fireworks on the third,” she says of her attempt to boost even bigger on the final run, but instead sketched and fell half way down the pipe.
But her second run was more than enough to secure the victory. While Bleiler seemed impervious to the conditions, the rest of the field struggled with the wind and snow. While the pipe was cut and the walls were in great shape, the falling snow piled up quickly across the bottom. “It?s really slow,” says a frustrated Natasza Zurek of flat bottom of the pipe.
Although most were challenged to get speed and big air out of the pipe, the technical moves were still there. On her second run, Stine Brun Kjeldaas put together a 540 and 720 with amplitude for a score of 82.6 and just edged ahead of Anne Molin Kongsgaard, who?s McTwist to 540 combination earned a score of 81 and third place.
1. Gretchen Bleiler
2. Stine Brun Kjeldaas
3. Anne Molin Kongsgaard
4. Hanna Teter
5. Kelly Clark
6. Natasza Zurek
7. Lindsey Jacobellis
8. Tricia Byrnes
9. Doriane Vidal
10. Kjersti Oestgaard
11. Karolina Gabrielsson
12. Lisa Wiik