Winter X Games Europe: Breck’s Brown 8th in ski slope final
summit daily news
Fog, wind, sloppy snow and a slow course didn’t add up to optimum conditions for athletes in the men’s ski slopestyle final at the Winter X Games Europe on Thursday in Tignes, France. In fact, it made for quite a bumpy ride – especially for those with Summit County ties.
Slope posterboy and Breckenridge skier Bobby Brown finished eighth in the eight-man final after failing to land any of his three runs cleanly. His roommate in Breck, Gus Kenworthy, who’s originally from Telluride, was just one spot ahead of Brown in seventh place.
Brown is a two-time Winter X champ after he won two golds in Aspen in 2010, the first skier to ever do so. Since then, he’s taken the sport by storm, racking up wins across the world.
Thursday’s podium belonged to Canadian J.F. Houle, who won with a second-run score of 94.33. Andreas Hatveit was second and England’s James Woods was third.
Another women’s superipe competition went into the books Thursday, and like most this season, Kelly Clark’s name was written in as the winner.
Clark topped a star-studded field to sweep Winter X snowboard pipe golds this season. (She also won in Aspen.) The win was Clark’s 10th in 12 contests this season, and the only two events she didn’t win were the two in Summit County – Copper Mountain’s U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix and Breck’s Winter Dew Tour Nike 6.0 Open, both in December.
Hannah Teter finished second, and Spain’s Queralt Castellet was third.
Summit native Eric Willett will have to wait one more day to start his title defense in men’s snowboard slopestyle, as the field of boarders voted to cancel Thursday’s elimination round.
The course was smothered with snow late the night before, and the surface conditions and heavy winds in practice were enough to make riders decide to forgo the first round.
Instead, there will be a 24-man, two-run final today.
Willett won last season’s title, during what was a breakout season for the Breck rider. This year, he’s been a contender in every major contest and won last week’s U.S. Open in Stratton, Vt.
The final is slated to air – tape-delayed – on ESPN2 and 10 a.m.
Breck snowboarding veteran J.J. Thomas was the odd man out in Thursday’s superpipe elimination round.
He finished ninth, one spot behind Steamboat Springs rider Matt Ladley, who was the eighth and final athlete to get into today’s final.
Greg Bretz posted the top score of the day with a 92.33, Louie Vito was second and Jack Mitrani was third.
No Summit County riders will be in the final, as Zack Black, Steve Fisher and Brett Esser did not compete.
The final is 6 tonight on ESPN.
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