Rail contest makes up for cancelled slopestyle
When Chris Bartimioli eyed the single rail that was part of Saturday afternoon’s Vans Triple Crown rail contest, he simply visualized the trick he wanted to do in his head, and then he did it.
Many competitors in the open competition couldn’t even ride the rail all the way out. But Bartimioli didn’t just ride it, he threw a backflip over the flat and clipped the downslope of the rail just long enough to complete the slide.
The trick produced a roar out of the crowd and would not be heard again during the competition.
It also produced a $2,000 award for Bartimioli.
“I did it for the money,” said Bartimioli with a huge grin on his face afterwards. “And for Jesus. He gave me the strength to do it.”
While many competitors tried again and again to put together a trick that would at least get them the $1,200 second-place prize, Bartimioli simply hiked halfway back up the approach, sat down off to the side, and watched.
“It’s all about confidence,” he said. “If you can visualize it, you can do anything.”
Bartimioli became the first male competitor to win an event at the Mountain Dew National Championships of Snowboarding, the first stop in the annual Vans Triple Crown snowboarding series.
This after the slopestyle finals were postponed until today after a strong wind produced blowing snow on the slopestyle course.
According to race officials, the visibility was not acceptable on the course and the event was postponed due to rider-safety concerns.
The blowing snow didn’t affect today’s superpipe qualifiers, and it certainly didn’t affect the rail contest, an open contest judged by a celebrity panel of guest judges held on a single A-frame rail below the superpipe.
The rail featured a 10-foot uplsope, followed by a 10-foot flat section that many riders gapped, and a 10-foot downslope.
Laura Hadar, a former Carbondale resident who now resides in Salt Lake City, won the women’s event with a series of tricks broken up by a gap-jump over the flat section. She won $600.
“I’m stoked. I was actually having a horrible day (before the rail contest),” Caldwell said afterwards. “I just came here to have fun and meet some cool people.”
Like Hadar, Wyatt Caldwell used an elaborate string of moves around a gap-jump to win the men’s second place prize.
Johnny Centi won the $800 men’s third place prize, while Chris Coulter snagged $300 with fourth place.
Jacqui Berg pulled off a switch 50-50 across the entire length of the rail to win $400 for second place, while Amaike Izumi took $200 for third.
Those who managed to ride out the rail but couldn’t make it into the top-spots didn’t necessarily go home empty handed.
Over $500 in $50 bonuses were handed out on the spot to anyone who landed a decent slide.
Thirteen-year-old Luke Mitrani won two of them.
“That was cool,” Mitrani said after being handed a $100-dollar bill. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
Matt Isaac also won one of the bonuses, which he said helped make up for missing the slopestyle finals after driving from Mammoth Mountain to Breckenridge to compete.
“I didn’t get into the slopestyle finals, so it feels good,” he said.
8:30-9:10 a.m., Men’s semi-finals warm-up, heats 1 and 2
9:15-10:15 a.m., Men’s finals, heast 1 and 2 (two runs)
10:15-10:40 a.m., Women’s final warm-up
10:45-11:30 a.m., Women’s final (two runs)
11:30-Noon, Men’s semifinals warm-up
Noon-1 p.m., Men’s finals (two runs)
Slopestyle (postponed from Saturday)
Noon-1:15 p.m., Women’s and men’s practice
1:30-3 p.m., Women’s and men’s finals
3:30 p.m., immediately following slopestyle finals
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.