Minds were blown open at the second stop of the Chevrolet Grand Prix Series at Breckenridge, Colorado. Shaun White put down an unprecedented run to win the men’s event--his second time atop the podium this week. Following Shaun were minors on a mission, Mason Aguirre and Danny Davis.
Gretchen Bleiler took the women’s event with a trademark crippler, both fives, and a frontside nine to beat sixteen-year-old Elena Hight and third place Tricia Byrnes.
White is in a league of his own, determined to beat down the demons of 2001, when he barely missed qualifying for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Following his top finish earlier this week, White bettered his own winning score by more than two points with today’s 47.10 out of a possible 50. Shaun’s winning first run went like this: ten- to twelve-foot Lien, backside nine, frontside 1080, Cab 1080, frontside nine, McTwist. What? Right.
A falling barometer and gray skies didn’t hamper the action, and even pros like Marc Frank Montoya were on hand to witness the progression. The Freeway Eight superpipe grows wider and better every day, and fresh snow is still falling on the terrain under the new Empire Express lift.
Everyone’s favorite for style, Danny Kass, was going absolutely nuts, but didn’t put together a bobble-free run. When he dials the first-hit Cab tens he was trying during practice, he’ll be in the game. Mason and Danny Davis threw down--the dawn of a new day in pipe? Mason was more himself today, after the pressure got to him in Wednesday’s event. “Everyone was killing it. I tried to just have fun and not take it too seriously, said Mason after his second run.
With Shaun a shoe-in, the rest of the riders will have three more chances to prove themselves before the 2006 Olympic Snowboard Team is selected. The Grand Prix Series moves to Mt. Bachelor, Oregon on January 5--8, 2006.
1. Shaun White, Carlsbad, Calif., 47.10
2. Mason Aguirre, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 44.30
3. Danny Davis, Highland, Mich., 43.00
4. Andy Finch, Truckee, Calif., 42.20
5. Kevin Pearce, Norwich, Vt., 42.10
6. Danny Kass, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 42.00
7. Janne Korpi, Finland, 41.80
8. JJ Thomas, Golden, Colo., 41.10
9. Tommy Czeschin, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 40.80
10. Kim Christiansen, Norway, 40.00
1. Gretchen Bleiler, Snowmass Village, Colo., 44.50
2. Elena Hight, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 41.60
3. Tricia Byrnes, Stratton Mtn., Vt., 35.10
4. Paulina Ligocka, Poland, 32.10
5. Hannah Teter, Belmont, Vt., 31.90
6. Andrea Schuler, Switzerland, 29.20
7. Molly Aguirre, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 29.00
8. Ellery Hollingsworth, Darien, CT, 27.20
9. Manuela Pesko, Switzerland, 22.70
10. Clair Bidez, Minturn, Colo., 21.70