Kass Wins X Games SuperPipe

Danny Kass took this year’s SuperPipe at the 2001 ESPN Winter X Games at Mount Snow, Vermont topping the favorites and last year’s winners Todd Richards and Ross Powers. Putting together a run of his life, Tommy Czeschin came in second this year, and Powers waited until his last of three attempts to finally ride into third place.

After two days of snow and flat light, the sun finally came out along with with large crowds. The pipe was rigged for the contest, with all camera angles covered, from the usually guys on the deck to the follow cam on the track over the middle.

If the women’s SuperPipe was exciting, the men’s blew doors down and raised the level up to the standards seen last spring at the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships right up the road at Stratton Mountain.

Just to make things interesting, the two top competitors, Ross Powers and Todd Richards both blew their first and second runs, setting up the chance for a dramatic, come-from-behind victory. But while Powers edged up with his second run and finally put it all together for the third, it was only enough to tie Czeschin for second in points. For the tiebreaker, the judges went to the second run, which Czeschin had a better score than Powers. Richards couldn’t put it together today after taking the Silver yesterday at the Slopestyle.

Stealing the show for a second win in two major contests in a row, including the Grand Prix at Breckenridge early January, Danny Kass put up an early winning run and then just improved on his riding. While all other competitors looked strong, including Mike Michalchuk who stuck a double back flip in his final, nobody could muster enough to take the win.

“It still hasn’t registered with me yet, but if I wake up and it’s true, it’s going to be pretty f***ing sick,” said Kass about his win. “I was actually trying not to think before taking my first run, and it was good because I just landed the first run and then the pressure was off and I didn’t have to hold back.”

His run included huge backside air to crippler seven stalefish to switch inverted seven indy grab to air fakie, and then a Haakon nine indy, “also known as a Switch Kasserole with cheeze with extra pinski sauce,” he kicked in.

He’s looking forward to hitting the Run DMC show tonight and then heading back to Mammoth on Monday.

Riding to second, upping his third place finish from last year by one spot, Czeschin started the day with a light snack to put himself in the right mood. “I had an orange and some Raisen Brand at the lounge for breakfast and nothing for lunch so I’m starving,” he said right after the finals. “I was just trying to stay warm and keep moving while I was waiting.”

His run started with two big straight airs, then he stuck a frontside nine, backside five, frontside Haakon seven, and backside seven. “All the coaches were giving me tips on what to do, but I didn’t really think about it. Once you go, you’re in that mindset and you just do it.”

Ross Powers did try to make the dramatic finish, but came up just short. He was luck to end up in third after his first and second runs. “I wanted to do straight airs and it was really fun doing them, but it was garbage for points. The second run I was doing more of what wanted to do, but didn’t have enough room for the Mctwist and it put me in twelfth place going into the final run. So for the last run I just changed it up and decided to go for the stuff that I’ve done in the past but hadn’t practiced here and it all worked out.”

His winning run started with a huge method to huge Indy to Mctwist to seven to seven to 900.

Tomorrow’s action finishes with the Big Air, with women starting things off and men finishing in the afternoon. Look for more updates live from Mount Snow.

Men’s SuperPipe Results

1. Danny Kass2. Tommy Czeschin3. Ross Powers4. Guillaume Morisset5. Mike Michalchuk5. Daniel Franck7. Rob Kingwill8. Gian Simmen9. Shaun White10. Espen Arvesen