Eric Willett brings back bronze from Winter X Euro |

Eric Willett brings back bronze from Winter X Euro

Eric Willett of the United States reacts after winning the men's slopestyle event at the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Stratton, Vt., on Friday, March 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

In a historic and, both literally and figuratively, large snowboard slopestyle final Friday at Winter X Games Europe, Summit County native Eric Willett took home the bronze medal – his third medal in the last four Winter X slope competitions.

On any other day, Willett’s score of 96.66 would’ve certainly landed him atop the podium.

Not on Friday, though, as Chas Guldemond led a 23-man, two-run “super final” with an X Games record 99.33, beating out Sebastian Toutant’s staggering 98.00.

Bad weather wiped out Thursday’s elimination round, setting up the massive final on Friday. Normally, Winter X slope finals consist of eight riders and three runs.

With the change in format – and remarkably better conditions – riders went huge, throwing a dizzying array of double corks, none better than Guldemond’s back-to-back double-flipping tricks on the final hits of Run 2.

Willett now has a full compliment of Winter X slope medals. He won a silver at Winter X Games 14 in Aspen last season and followed that up with a gold medal at the inaugural European event last year.

Although Willett didn’t defend his title in Tignes, France, he did wrap up a stellar season that included wins at the Burton U.S. Open of Snowboarding and the final stop of the Winter Dew Tour.

Jamie Anderson won the title in the women’s field, besting Slije Norendal and Enni Rukajarvi, who were second and third, respectively. It was Anderson’s ninth slope win on the season.

Louie Vito won the men’s superpipe competition, edging our Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov and Christain Haller. Steamboat Springs’ Matt Ladley was fourth.

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