Bidez lands in fifth at U.S. Open |

Bidez lands in fifth at U.S. Open

Clair Bidez didn’t want to be eighth again.

Three weeks after the 16-year-old Minturn local finished as No. 8 at the World Superpipe Championships in Park City, Utah, Bidez found herself in the same spot before her last run in the halfpipe at the 2004 U.S. Open last Saturday at Stratton Mountain, Vt.

“What happened was on my third run I stomped the run that I was planning on doing pretty clean, but I was still only in eighth place at that time,” Bidez said. “So, then I just kind of rearranged my run and put a couple of new things in there.

“On my very last run, I totally stomped it. There was only a minute left and I was the last run of the day. I had four back-to-back spins – a frontside 540 to a backside 540 to a frontside 720 and then a cab (360).”

Those four clean spins amounted to a jump of three places in the final standings as Bidez netted her season-long goal of a top-five finish at a big national event.

“It was awesome,” Bidez said. “That was my goal for the year – to get a top five for an event like this. I was competing against some of the bigger names, and I was kind of worried that I might not do as well. But, I ended up having a really good day.”

Kelly Clark of Mount Snow, Vt. won the competition, followed by Tricia Byrnes, Stine Kjeldaas and Hannah Teter.

One of the factors that Bidez credited for her stellar finish was the jam format that the open used.

Riders were allowed to drop in as many times as possible during the 35-minute final, and were ranked by their best-run score, meaning that they could iron out the rough spots until they stomped a complete run.

Bidez herself dropped in on the pipe eight times, finally nailing each one of her tricks on the last go-round.

“It took a lot of the pressure off,” Bidez said of the jam format. “You didn’t have to land everything the first time you tried it. You could land it in your runs after, which made it a lot more fun. Everyone was working off of each other.”

Now that Bidez is through with big events for the season she plans on relaxing a little, especially with a week off from high school for spring break.

“I’m staying home and I’m just going to ride,” Bidez said. “I haven’t gotten to do that for a while.”

Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555 ext. 608 or via e-mail at

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