Minturn’s Bidez gets third at Grand Prix |

Minturn’s Bidez gets third at Grand Prix

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado

KILLINGTON, Vt. ” After a three-week training session at Copper Mountain, Clair Bidez was ready to ride Saturday afternoon.

But Bidez, the Minturn resident and U.S. Snowboarding Team member, had to wait a few more hours for the final Grand Prix halfpipe of the season to kick off in Killington, Vt.

And then 24 more hours. Finally, Sunday night, Bidez dropped into the 18-foot pipe and nailed her first pass in the finals. Her run of a frontside 540, backside 540, frontside 720 and cab 360 was good for third place.

“I’m pretty happy,” Bidez said. “It was really hard to compete because not only did they push it back an entire day, but they kept delaying and delaying everything.”

Kelly Clark won the event, while Ellery Hollingsworth was second. On the men’s side, Louie Vito took first with a run of a front 1080, cab 1080, front 900, back 900 and front 720. Greg Bretz took second and Peetu Piiroinen took third.

The event was pushed back to Sunday because fog limited the visibility of the judges.

“They didn’t have time between the qualifier and the finals to cut the pipe (Saturday) and it was really hard to ride, so it ended up being a blessing in disguise for me because the pipe was really good (Sunday),” Bidez said.

On her second run, Bidez attempted a frontside 900, but fell.

During what was her longest break this season, Bidez, the halfpipe specialist, spent most of the time training jumps.

“It went well. It’s been a long time. It was kind of slow at first, but I’m getting back into it,” said Bidez, who is keeping her tricks under wraps until they’re ready to go.

Bidez, along with most of the field from the Grand Prix, head to Stratton, Vt., for this week’s U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Stratton, Vt.

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