Winter X Europe | Source – ESPN
The Women’s SuperPipe finals went down amidst a storm that has been wreaking havoc on the European Winter X competition. In what competitors have described as one of the best halfpipes they’ve ever ridden, warm, sticky snow made riding conditions challenging at best.
“It was bumpy and kind of ruddy, so it was really easy to get bucked,” said gold medal winner Kelly Clark. “You had to be ready for it.”
Gretchen Bleiler went down in practice attempting a 900 and fell hard enough to break her helmet. She still sent it in the finals, but wasn’t able to complete a run. In the end the competition came down to Clark, Hannah Teter and Queralt Castellet, who finished second and third, respectively.
Clark, who has been dominating pipe all season long, came into Winter X Europe hoping to throw a new trick into her already-winning 1080 combo run. “It’s a frontside inverted seven,” said Clark. “I wanted to link it up with the 900 and the 1080. I couldn’t quite pull it tonight, but you know if you don’t try then you never land it.”
Instead Clark won with a frontside 720, Cab 720, frontside 900, backside 540, frontside 540. The nine-time Winter X SuperPipe medalist has won 10 out of the 12 pipe contests that she entered this year.
“The Roxy Chicken Jam is at my home in Mammoth next week,” said Clark. “So normally the U.S. Open would be my last contest of the season, but I’m going to that, and I’m going to keep trying to land the run with the inverted seven. But here, I’m so happy with this win. To come out and put down a run like that first run, it puts me in a place where I can progress my riding as the night goes on, and that’s what I came here to do.”