Four-time Winter X Games medalist, Jen Hudak, won her first X Games gold last month in her hometown of Aspen in Women’s Skiing SuperPipe. Competing with a full international field in Tignes, France, Hudak led the pack from her first run through her third run. She was unstoppable.
“My win in Aspen was very emotional with all my family and friends surrounding me, and I seemed more nervous,” Hudak said about the difference between the wins in hometown of Aspen and now in France. “Both events were amazing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Hudak’s final score was seven points ahead of Canada’s Roz Groenewoud who previously won bronze at Winter X Games 14 in Aspen. France added another medal to their count as Anais Caradeux of La Clusaz finished with a bronze bringing their total to three medals – gold and silver were won by Kevin Rolland and Xavier Bertoni on opening night.
Snowboard SuperPipe Men's final
Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov returned from Winter X Games 14 with a silver medal, a fourth place finish from the Olympics in Vancouver, and can now add gold to that list from his win today at Winter X Games Europe. France’s Mathieu Crepel, who finished tenth at the Vancouver Olympics, was close behind to land the silver.
“The Double McTwist 1260 is a trick I started training for last week,” Podladtchikov said about a trick that won him the competition. “After the Olympics, I took one week off to rest, and started to practice the McTwist, so landing it tonight was a gift.”
Crepel was at the top of his progression in 2007 where he landed the first ever frontside 1260 in Big Air history, and he pulled it out again in tonight’s final. USA’s Louie Vito took home the bronze with the first ever double cork 1080 done three times in a row.
Last month at Winter X Games 14, Kaya Turski and Keri Herman finished one and two, respectively. They repeated their wins during the Skiing Slopestyle competitionat Winter X Games Europe.
Turski grabbed the lead right from the start and dominated the rest of the contest. The hardest trick she attempted all day was a switch 900 off the last hit on her third run, but she couldn’t stick the landing. Her second run was good enough to put her into first place with a combination of switch 360, switch onto the flatbox, 720 grab and 540 mute grab.
“I've been training hard and it paid off,” Turski said about her win. “It was tough getting a line together, and I usually just think of it in my head, but I had to write everything down – a little cheat sheet of the course and the run. I basically decided this morning what I wanted to do for sure, landed it in practice and there you go.”
Herman, a technically savvy rider, won the judges over in her second run with her 540 true tail grab. Herman and Ashley Battersby, the only two American riders on the roster, represented the U.S. at the first Winter X Europe with silver and bronze, respectively. Herman already had a Winter X Games medal where she earned silver last month, but it was Battersby’s first time landing on a podium at a Winter X Games event.
In a field of eight women, there were five different countries represented: Canada, Australia, Germany, Norway and USA. Half of the field was previous Winter X Games medalists.
The 22-year-old from Pittsburgh (USA) made his first Winter X Games appearance in Aspen last January competing in Big Air and Slopestyle finishing seventh and eighth, respectively. On March, Friday, the 12th, in the Skiing Slopestyle final in Tignes, France, only one point separated Tom Wallisch and USA’s Bobby Brown. Wallisch went all out and landed himself his first Winter X Games gold.
“I always wanted to do well at a huge event like the Winter X Games,” Wallisch said today after his win. More known in the ski industry as a filmer rather than a contest rider, Wallisch even surprised himself today. “This is just incredible to come out here, participate in the first Winter X Games Europe and do well”
Bobby Brown, is no stranger to Winter X Games medals. Just last January at Winter X Games 14, Brown claimed gold in both Skiing Big Air and Slopestyle. Today at Winter X Games Europe, he settled for silver. Jossi Wells of New Zealand took home the bronze.
Jenny Jones went into today’s final in the number one spot after she led the entire field in eliminations on Wednesday. Jones takes home her first Winter X Games Europe Slopestyle gold after taking home gold at Winter X Games in Aspen in both 2009 and 2010 – the first woman from Great Britain to earn a Winter X Games medal.
“It feels amazing to win so close to home, and there were so many fans from the UK out there,” Jones said about the competition. “It was great to show my fans that the British can ride.”
Jones had a flawless run her second time down the course to take the lead, with big spins, frontside and backside 360’s and a frontside 720. Winter Olympic bronze medalist (2006), Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas of Trondheim, Norway landed the silver and stomped a few tricks on her second run, but ended up losing speed. It wasn’t a flawless run, but it did earn her silver. Switzerland’s Sina Candrian landed the bronze.