Anderson tops women’s field in slopestyle semifinals; men’s event canceled
VAIL – By now, the competitors at the Burton US Open are used contending with snowy conditions on the slopestyle course. It has snowed every year the event has been in Vail, but never enough to cancel a competition. Until Wednesday.
After getting in a good practice session under clear blue skies in the morning, the women took to the slopestyle course – a collection of rails and jumps on Golden Peak in Vail – with relatively little issues.
The top qualifier for the women was Jamie Anderson, who’s first run was highlighted by a boardslide and tailslide on the rails and a 540 and 720 on the jumps. With the rest of the field not coming withing eight points of Anderson’s first run on the 100-point scoring scale, a second run wasn’t necessary for Anderson, set to go last from her leader’s position. That worked out well for her, as the weather was starting to turn.
“It did get a little windy on that second run,” women’s Anderson told reporter Trisha Byrnes as the women’s semi-final came to a close.
But that was nothing compared to what the men were about to encounter.
Blowing snow, changing winds from jump to jump and poor visibility combined to create unridable conditions on the slopestyle course, and after one weather delay, officials (under advisement of the riders themselves,) called it off.
“I woke up, looked outside and it looked really nice,” said Stale Sandbech, who finished second in slopestyle at both the Olympics and the Burton US Open last year. “I was pumped to ride in bluebird because it’s been kind of snowy the last couple days, but then the wind picked up and the weather came in and got worse and worse.”
The men’s field will compete in slopestyle finals as scheduled on Friday, with two runs instead of three and no qualification process.