White and Bleiler Win Breckenridge Grand Prix Pipe

Photo gallery linked on the left.

With temps hovering in the negative numbers, the battle for dominance in the Breckenridge Grand Prix was fought on several fronts. The behemoth pipe, as always, provided an epic venue for shred sparring. The persistent winds and wind chills kept all the feint of heart clear of the site, but the snowboarding elite showed up and threw down.

One of the biggest surprises of the event was the number of heavies who did not make it into the finals. Riders representing both the old and new guard were relegated to the stands. Danny Davis, Louie Vito, Michael Goldschmidt, Tommy Czeschin, and Breck local Chad Otterstrom were all stymied. An international crowd pushed into the final event including representatives from the US, Japan, Norway, Canada, France, and Holland.

There were a number of outstanding performances, including Elijah Teter’s charge onto the podium. Teter knocked Keir Dillon out of the money, but Dillon blew the crowd away with huge fluid spins and the biggest straight air of the day. Kevin Pearce, after recent strong showings in Europe and Japan, rounded out the top five.

The main battle of the event was fought between Breckenridge’s own Steve Fisher and super-stallion Shaun White. White edged Fisher by .2 in qualifiers. So the final event was White’s chance to show dominance after Fisher took X Games Gold in Aspen last winter. Fisher linked a lofty backside nine into a frontside seven, and capped it off with Cab 10 into frontside 10. Fisher and White were clearly at the front of this pack, but it was White who was the lead dog. White’s winning run linked a backside nine, frontside 1080, Cab nine, frontside nine with a sweet melon grab, and capped it with a classy McTwist. Final tally White 48.4, Fisher 47.8.

The ladies had to qualify during the early morning deep freeze, but that didn’t stop them from bringing the heat. The finals came down to the three American powerhouses of Hannah Teter, Kelly Clark, and Gretchen Blieler. Teter matched her brother with a bronze finish. Kelly Clark brought amplitude and tight combos into her run — including an amazing corked frontside five, but it was Bleiler’s Crippler capped with a 900 that sealed the deal and the number one spot on the podium.

Men’s Results

1. Shaun White
2. Steven Fisher
3. Elijah Teter

4. Keir Dillon
5. Kevin Pearce
6. Brad Martin
7. Luke Mitrani

Women’s Results

1. Gretchen Bleiler
2. Kelly Clark
3. Hannah Teter

4. Ellery Hollingsworth
5. Soko Yamaoka
6. Kait Farrington
7. Anne Pellissier