Minturn snowboarder wins at Aspen
ASPEN – After a trying start to the season, Clair Bidez was relieved to find herself back on top of the podium Saturday afternoon at Buttermilk. One year after winning the first women’s superpipe final at the Aspen/Snowmass Open, the 19-year-old Minturn local found herself among familiar company.In a repeat of last year’s podium, Bidez easily won, while Breckenridge local Leslie Glenn and Snowmass Village’s Jordan Karlinski took second and third, respectively.
Bidez’s win certainly didn’t make up for a disappointing showing at the Winter X Games two weeks ago, where she failed to qualify for the 10-rider final in the same halfpipe where she soared to a breakthrough fourth-place finish the year before.But, after a solid fifth-place showing a week ago at a Grand Prix at Oregon’s Mount Bachelor, Saturday’s win was another step in the right direction. “The start of the season was pretty rough for me,” said Bidez, whose first run earned her 84 points. “I just couldn’t pull it together for some reason. I kind of gained some confidence last week, and I felt good coming to this contest. I just wanted to have fun and try new stuff.”While all but one of her fellow competitors stuck to 540s and straight airs, Bidez unleashed a 720 at the end of her first run, and attempted a 900 on her second but landed low on the wall and skidded out. She also put distance between herself and the rest of the field with impressive amplitude.
Glenn, who had 66.33 points, was the only other rider who consistently got her entire board above the pipe’s walls.”I just took a downhill line,” said Bidez, one of Karlinski’s teammates with U.S. Snowboarding. “My favorite thing is always going big, so I’d so much rather have a big straight air than spin under the lip.”Karlinski has been on a roll recently. She was fourth in boardercross two weeks ago at the Winter X Games and second in slopestyle at the Grand Prix last week in Oregon. She has no plans of specializing in one discipline any time soon, she said.
“I have a great time doing all three and I’m just happy with how I’m doing,” she said. “I’m really happy with how I’m riding.”When asked what she liked most about the Aspen/Snowmass Open, Karlinski said, “It’s just awesome to compete and sleep in your own bed.”Glenn, 25, found herself behind Karlinski after a slight bobble on her first run, but came back with a stronger second run to jump ahead of the hometown favorite.She followed a big frontside 540 featuring a melon grab with a huge backside method, then landed the frontside 720 that she failed to cleanly land on her first trip down the pipe.