Danny Kass rode like a man posessed and led the halfpipe qualifiers today at the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Pix stop number two at Breckenridge, Colorado, ahead of veterans such as Todd Richards and Ross Powers. Neither of those two rode poorly, as they qualified second and third respectively.
On the women’s side, Aspen local Gretchen Bleiler surprised the usual leaders with an impressive run mixing in spins (sticking a 720) and higher amplitude. Expect to see some fireworks from Bleiler in the finals.
The event was held under perfect blue skys in another beautifully shaped superpipe compliments of Pat Melandowski and the same Super Dragon that shaped the epic pipe at the U.S. Open last spring.
With a crowded field of 75 men and 45 women competitors, the contestants were broken into three men’s and two women’s heats and each rider got to take two runs, with the top score counting to the overall placing. The top twenty men and top ten women will advance to the finals tomorrow. And it will be epic.
Kass rode in the first heat, along with standouts Tommy Czeschin, Magnus Sterner, and Brett Carpentier who all also ended up in the top ten and will be riding tomorrow. With a run that consisted of a McTwist to a backside rodeo to a backside 720, with Kass’ amplitude got bigger as he progressed down the pipe. Posting the high score of the day, no one really came close. Powers and Richards attemped, and slid into the top five, ready to face Kass in the finals tomorrow.
In the women’s field, Tricia Byrnes, who has already won the Vans Triple Crown and Okemo Grand Prix this season, Barrett Christy, Kelly Clark, and Cara-Beth Burnside all followed up Bleiler.
Make sure to check out the results from the Yahoo Big Air Saturday night competition and the Superpipe finals tomorrow.
17LEINES ERIC JUSA32.40
1. Gretchen Bleiler
2. Tricia Byrnes
3. Barrett Christy
4. Kelly Clark
5. Cara-Beth Burnside
6. Tara Zwink
7. Caroline Ehrenstrasser
8. Autumn Rose
9. Michele Taggart
10. Bianca Berger