Keir Dillon slides into first and Kelly Clark dominates in Park City’s superpipe. Big crowds came out this past Saturday to be wowed by some of the best pipe riders in the world. This all happened at the same place the U.S. men swept the medals at the 2002 Olympic Games. Park City provided the venue, big crowds, and got together some healthy prize money. The riders were invited by World Cup Scoring, which also scores other big contests such the X-Games and Vans Triple Crown events. With the exception of a few riders, most of today’s top pipe shreds were on hand to battle it.
The pipe was in nearly perfect condition when the finals hit. A few days of warm air softened the pipe during practice, and then the weather got cold, threatening to turn the pipe into an icy mess. The P.C. crew’s talent and the fact that the temperature didn’t drop too much meant the pipe quality held up. The shape of the pipe was top notch–the walls were pitched perfectly, and the surface was smooth, no bumps or ridges.
It’s an exciting time in women’s pipe because a new group of riders is working its way up through the ranks to give the veterans a run for their money. Tricia Byrnes has been around contests for a long time and is always a contender. She went big on her way to a third place finish. One of the unique things about Tricia’s runs was that she rode switch for most of it. Thirteen-year-old Elena Hight is one of snowboarding’s new threats. Even at such a young age, she is one of the few chicks who can ace a 900. She did the 900 and other spins in combination to put herself into second position. Kelly Clark rode normal for her–better than everyone else. The amount of air that Kelly gets has to be seen be truly appreciated. Kelly can also throw down some crazy combinations of 360s, 540s and 720s. As a result, the Vermonter found herself on familiar ground at the top of the podium.
The men truly rode at a world-class level. Andy Finch always does the biggest and craziest inverted maneuvers. Andy also does all of his crazy tricks in succession. His runs are usually so challenging that he either gets a podium position or goes down trying. Today Andy deserved no less than his third-place finish. Ross Powers was riding in similar fashion; Ross also goes big and can line up the combos.
Of course, Ross then decided to throw his first-ever 1080 in competition. The risk paid off and he pulled slightly out from Finch to take second. Keir Dillon has always ridden with an exceptional level of style. Lately Keir has been adding some difficult tricks to his repertoire, too. If you add really big air into the mix, you get a winning run. Keir put all the important elements together to take home first place.
1. Keir Dillon
2. Ross Powers
3. Andy Finch
4. Luke Wynen
5. Gian Simmen
1. Kelly Clark
2. Elena Hight
3. Tricia Byrnes
4. Junko Asazuma
5. Stine Brun Kjeldas