Local athletes tear it up at X Games | VailDaily.com

Local athletes tear it up at X Games

Ian Cropp
Daily Sports Writer
WX10 Bidez, C PU 1-28

ASPEN ” A podium, an unprecedented 900 and top 10 finishes. Not a bad X Games for local athletes.

Vail’s Chris Del Bosco grabbed a third-place finish in the men’s skiercross Sunday.

“I went into it with no expectations,” Del Bosco said. “I knew I could compete with all those guys. I had done it before. The skiercross has a certain amount of luck. It depends on the course and if you have fast skis.”

Del Bosco spent hours applying layers of wax to his skis the night before the event.

“I didn’t have a tech team to work on my stuff, so I did all the work on my skis,” Del Bosco said. “People don’t realize how long it takes to get wax right.”

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While it may have taken a while for Del Bosco to get the wax right, it didn’t take long for Minturn’s Clair Bidetz to master a 900.

Bidez, who took fourth place in the women’s superpipe Saturday, landed her first 900 in the pipe. The first time she even attempted a 900 had been in practice on Friday.

After pulling off a trick that barely any female riders will consider, Bidez headed to South Korea with her brother, Dylan, to compete in the Junior World Snowboarding Championships.

First-time charm

Vail’s John Spriggs came through for the red, white and blue with the top American finish of sixth place in the men’s best trick competition.

“I felt I pretty much did the best I could have done,” Spriggs said. “I didn’t have any regrets.”

At the last minute, the event organizers changed what was to be the men’s skier slopestyle into a big trick event.

“The course wasn’t well built for the slopestyle,” said Spriggs, who was competing for the first time in the X Games. “I knew what I was going to.”

And Vail’s Lindsey Telling continued what had already been a great year riding by placing 10th in the women’s boardercross.

Telling shook off some bad luck in the semifinals to grab fourth place in the consolation heat.

“I got clipped coming out of the start from both sides,” Telling said of her semifinal heat. “I got so worked. I have a bruise on my eye. I wasn’t too bummed about it, though. I was stoked to finish fourth because I beat one of the girls who clipped me (Jordan Carlinski).”

But there were no hard feelings in the end.

“Jordy is one of my friends, and we are always neck-and-neck competing,” Telling said.

The show

Yes, the actual competition was the most important aspect of the X Games, but the athletes were able to enjoy events other than their own.

Telling enjoyed watching the Moto X competitors soar through the air on their bikes.

“It was so crazy. They are so insane,” Telling said. “The jumps are huge. I was talking to some of them and they said, ‘It’s not that burly,’ but I was like, ‘Whatever. Way to show me up.'”

And not that his performance wasn’t impressive enough, but Del Bosco was awed by Bidez’s 900.

“That was pretty awesome,” Del Bosco said.

As always, the X Games featured the weird, wacky and wild.

“I saw these booths set up, and in one you went in, and they turned on this wind, and you had to catch tickets and you got a prize,” Spriggs said. “I thought it was the goofiest thing you’ve ever seen. It was so humiliating to the person struggling through it.”

But amid the huge fanfare, the athletes were able to garner some attention from sponsors.

Del Bosco chatted with a few sponsors, but didn’t stick around the X Games for too long.

“I got home Monday, loaded up and went to Snowbird for the U.S. skiercross Series,” Del Bosco said. “I ended up in second. It was a drag race to the finish, and I missed first by 2 feet.”

This year and beyond

All of the athletes hope to be back at the X Games next year.

Spriggs will be competing next weekend in Breckenridge, but will likely have knee surgery soon, sidelining him for a bit.

But for next year’s X Games, he won’t settle for doing well in just the slopestyle.

“My goal is to get in for the halfpipe. I want to do both the slopestyle and the halfpipe,” Spriggs said.

Telling’s finish guarantees her a spot in next year’s games. Up next for her is the US Open Snowboarding Championship.

And Del Bosco’s podium finish nearly didn’t happen. He made his way into the field through a last-chance qualifier in mid January.

“I’m happy with how I did, and I feel fortunate to have the X Games close to home,” Del Bosco said. “It’s tough to qualify last chance. I had a buddy from Whistler (British Columbia) who qualified and a week later had to come back here.”

After Del Bosco finishes skiing this year, he’ll be back on the mountain, but on his bike.

“I’ve always done both sports,” Del Bosco said of ski racing and mountain-bike racing. “I do it to keep fresh and not just do one thing. I’m fortunate to be able to do both well.”

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or icropp@vaildaily.com.

For more coverage of the Winter X Games 10, go to http://www.vaildaily.com/section/XGAMESTEN

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