Despite consistent snowfall and deteriorating conditions, Kevin Jones came from behind to steal the Slopestyle event at the ESPN Winter X Games at Mount Snow, Vermont from Todd Richards. On the women’s side, Jaime Macleod took the lead and then held on edging out a surprisingly sharp Shannon Dunn.
The snows that threatened yesterday’s Boarder X hit in full force today, slowing up the course and also playing havoc with visibility. Goggles and wax again played a part in the event.
Last year’s winner, Kevin Jones, saved it all for the last run. With precision on the rails and excellent spins, he posted a score of 89.67 to upset leader Richards, who posted the leading score his first run, then upped it on both his second and third runs with a final of 88.67. This was his second year taking second place in the slopestyle.
For all three runs, Richards led the competition and looked to have a lock on it, as Jones was not up to his usual smoothness.
“It was super fun,” said Richards. “I wish they had a thousand contests like this through the year. The very last run I didn’t really pay attention and just cruised it. I didn’t think I could do any better.”
He started the top of the run with stock slides. “I’m no Kevin Jones on the rails,” he says. But his strongest hits were at the bottom throwing a 540 and 900 on the two big jumps. The crowd went nuts.
Jones knew he had to pull something out of his hat on the final run if was going to take it. “There are too many good riders around these days,” he said. “You have to try something you’ve never tried before and almost kill yourself to win.”
His new rail slide was a 450 on and off the rail. “I wasn’t even going to try that today,” he said. “The course was super fun, except when I was falling on my ass the first two runs.”
The women opened the day under the falling snow. Last year’s second place finisher Jaime Macleod posted the high score of 71.5 her first run then watched as all the women failed to do better in the second run of the best-of-two format.
Doing her first slopestyle ever, Dunn scored the second place with a solid performance on the rails and stable jumps.
Macleod was inspired by the crowd that was cheering crazily at the bottom after she won. “The crowd is getting crazy and having a good time and that’s what it’s all about,” she said.
She was modest about her performance. “I stood up and did some rail slides, that’s all. On my second run I tried to stay on a rail and it bit me in the lip.” She was sporting a fat lip from hitting it on the snow after she fell off a rail. “Everyone ripped it. It’s crazy winning. It hasn’t hit home yet. But I’ll have fun spending the $12,000 dollars.”
Last year’s winner, Tara Dakides, couldn’t put together a good run and ended up in seventh place. Marni Yamada slide into the final podium slot.
Tomorrow’s action moves to the SuperPipe, with women starting things off and men finishing in the afternoon. Look for more updates live from Mount Snow.
1. Jaime Macleod
2. Shannon Dunn
3. Marni Yamada
4. Katrina Voutilainen
5. Barrett Christy
6. Jessica Dalpiaz
7. Tara Dakides
8. Krista Bradford
9. Dresden Howell
10. Kelly Clark
1. Kevin Jones
2. Todd Richards
3. Jussi Oksanen
4. Jason Borgstede
5. Chad Otterstrom
6. Josh Dirksen
7. Shaun White
8. Travis Parker
9. Aaron Bishop
10. J.J. Thomas