The last contest of the Vans Triple Crown in Breckenridge came to a close today, December 22, after a three-run, superpipe finals competition. Frank Wells and his staff spent the early hours of the morning grooming several inches of fresh snow out of the pipe, and by the time the competitors dropped in for practice, it was a perfectly sculpted masterpiece.

Gretchen Bleiler was the cold-turkey phenomena for the women’s event, flying in late last night from California and getting only this morning’s training before front-to-backside 540-ing into a sweet first-place trophy. Tricia Byrnes and Bleiler were tied going into the last run and had a mutual pact to pull out their secret weapons, Gretchen’s being a backflip to fakie and Tricia brandishing the McTwist. Things didn’t go quite as planned, though. After a solid run with two huge fives, Gretchen sucked up the backflip and did a regular air to fakie; and Tricia went for the McTwist but couldn?t quite stick it. In addition to the top two, Tahoe-rider Autumn Rose rode strong and big, as did Tara Zwink and Michele Taggart.

Unlike the ladies’ event, it was impossible to tell who would take the men’s until the very last second. Erik Leines had the lead for a while, taking some risks with tech tricks on his first couple hits. Fifteen-year-old Shaun White was out front for a bit, too, with backside-rodeos and big McTwists. But it was Mammoth’s Tommy “The Machine” Czeschin who won it in the end, and for good reason. After a first run of all straight spins (back-to-back 720s and a 900), he stepped it up by inverting the nine and throwing a big McTwist in the mix.

The event was over in time for riders to catch flights in Denver, hit the road home, or get hyped up to see The Sugar Hill Gang play later in downtown Breckenridge. It’s officially Christmas break–now go get some eggnog and go snowboarding.



1 Tommy Czeschin USA $10,000
2 Shaun White USA $6,500
3 Christopher Nelson US $4,000
4 Mike Michalchuk CAN $3,000
5 Andy Finch USA $2,000
6 Erik Leines USA $1,000
7 Ross Powers USA $700
8 Keir Dillon USA $600
9 Luke Wynen usa $500
10 Vinzenz Lueps Germany $400
11 George Oakley USA $300
12 J.J. Thomas USA $200
13 Abram Teter USA $100
14 Kirk Short USA $100
15 Colin Langlois USA $100
16 Justin Lamoureux USA $100
17 Chris Wimbles Canada $100
18 Rahm Klampert USA $100
19 Grant Glenn US $100
20 Todd Richards USA $100
21 Justin Brink USA
22 Zach Horwitz USA
23 Elijah Teter USA
24 Brian Berge USA
25 Jimi Scott USA
26 Danny Garrity USA
27 Jason Hindman USA
28 John Anderson USA
29 Brent Meyer USA
30 Travis Rice USA
31 Chad Otterstrom USA
32 Colter Deupree USA
33 Charles Morace USA
34 James Beach CAN
35 Spencer Tamblyn USA
36 Ryan Knapton USA
37 Bjorn Leines USA
38 Peter Scontras USA
39 Chris Pappas USA
40 Brett Butcher USA
41 Allan Traves USA
42 Ryan Kronenburg USA
43 Wyatt Glynn USA
44 Zachary Wertz USA
45 Raul Pinto USA
46 David Kubicka USA
47 Koji Okumura JPN


1 Gretchen Bleiler USA $7,500
2 Tricia Byrnes USA $4,500
3 Autumn Rose usa $2,200
4 Alisa Mokler USA $1,400
5 Michele Taggart USA $1,200
6 Tara Zwink USA $1,000
7 Jana Manfredi USA $700
8 Keiko Yanagisawa JPN $600
9 Leslee Olson USA $500
10 Megan Pischke USA $400
11 Jonnel Janewicz USA
12 Tori Carrigan Koski USA
13 Hana Beaman USA
14 Megan Klammer USA
15 Nevin Schwarz usa
16 Kyla Duffy USA
17 Ashley Berger USA
18 Laura Hadar usa
19 Marilyn Poon USA
20 Michelle Wilson USA
21 Marge McClintock USA