The B.A.R. (Best All Around Rider) event is basically a slickly packaged slope style event. What differentiates the B.A.R. from traditional slope is a transition feature. Lets break it down: two handrails in a row, a kicker with two takeoffs, and finally, a large two-sided hip/quarter pipe combo. In the defense of their “new event the transition easily stole the show.
Day three at the Vans Cup started out nicely. It wasn’t a bluebird day but it was sunny enough--and the Superpipe was open to the public! But just as soon as the B.A.R. qualifying began threatening storm clouds moved in. The light quickly went flat, industry types panicked mildly, and the riders made the best of it. And you know what? It really never got that bad.
The lightest snow flurries blew about as skies grayed and John Jackson completely owned the qualifiers. By the time qualifying wrapped up the semi finals were cut and they dove straight into the money runs. Excelling in qualifying rounds and bombing in the finals is commonplace. It was one of those events for John Jackson. He placed a disappointing ninth on the sole fact he couldn’t link a clean run over the four objects--but he blew minds with an enormous switch backside air off the hip. It was markedly larger than any competitor’s. Then he hit it forward and nearly ran clean out of transition. Sick!
The talk of the B.A.R. and the Vans Cup for that matter was Wyatt Caldwell. Young Wyatt’s controlled, technical destruction of the B.A.R. course including a Cab 900 to Cab 720 on the hip net him another first place finish. The kid came up 40 thousand in a single weekend. That’s a year’s salary! Nate Sheehan pulled in a very worthy second place run and robotic Andreas Wiig filled out third. And speaking of Andreas, doesn’t it seem a tad odd that Wiig doesn’t have a prestigious, high-paying board sponsor? Pretty sure he’s one of the most popular, talented, Scandinavian riders on earth right now.
The transition shook things up in the women’s category. It went like this: if you couldn’t boost out the hip/quarter, you didn’t see any green. Natasza Zurek has mad pop. She held her second run together clean and took the transition apart for first place and 17,000 dollars. Switzerland’s Anne Flore Marxer boosted huge jacked out methods, narrowly beating Mary Sallah by a tenth of a point for second place.
Vans Cup at Tahoe -- B.A.R. Finals -- Sunday, February 13
1. Wyatt Caldwell (Sun Valley, ID) $25,000
Natasza Zurek (Vancouver, BC) $17,000
2. Nate Sheehan (Salt Lake City, UT) $15,000
Anne Flore Marxer (Lausanne, SUI) $8.500
3. Andreas Wiig (Asker, NOR) $7,500
Mary Sallah (Toldeo, OH) $3,000
The Vans Cup at Tahoe will air in two parts on Fox Sports Net March 18 and March 25 at 3 pm nationally during the Vans Off the Wall Hour, with subsequent airings on the FUEL action sports network.