Words & photos by Ananda van Welij
After the sun had set and Men’s Ski Slopestyle Finals finished up earlier in the day, it was time for the men to kick things off in the pipe with Men’s Ski Superpipe Elimination. A big crowd showed up to cheer on the riders on and as Matt Margetts mentioned at the top of the pipe while getting ready, it might have been the biggest turn out for a halfpipe qualification event ever, upping the level of excitement and overall vibe.
Magic material getting put on the skis to get as much speed as possible.
Antoine Blanchi, who qualified through the SFR tour, kicked things off and as more and more riders dropped in, the level of riding went up. The absence of Kevin Rolland and Simon Dumont, both due to a torn ACL, opened up the field and give room for other riders to show what they had in their bag of tricks in order to progress to tonight’s finals. A total of 16 riders gave it their best shot, with everyone getting two runs for their chance at becoming one of the top eight.
Matt Margetts getting ready to drop for his first run.
Unfortunately Duncan Adams crashed on his last hit after putting down a solid run, and after having a hard time getting up on his own, it became clear that we would not see him drop in for a second. Join us in crossing our fingers for Duncan that the outcome won’t be too bad. And while the crowed cheered him on loudly as he received some last minute advice from his best friend Kevin Rolland, Xavier Bertoni put down a run that turned out to be just be enough to make it into finals, while knocking his fellow countryman Benoit Valentin out of the running in the process.
Xavier Bertoni making France proud by moving on to finals.
After getting injured on the final hit of his run at Winter X Games in Aspen and having to sit out the last month due to injury, Justin Dorey came out swinging last night and managed to score a spot for finals. Keep an eye out for him this evening, as some exciting rumors are going around here in France as to what he has in store.
Justin Dorey putting down a solid run in his first competition since X Games.
Although he's not the biggest rider, young gun Torin Yater-Wallace managed to boost his amplitude so high that it makes you wonder where he gets the strength from to pull off a double cork 12 mute like that. Scoring himself a 87.33, he qualified in third.
Torin Yater-Wallace boosting his amplitude on a double cork 12 mute.
Taking second was France’s very own Thomas Krief,
who showed that he has more than a few tricks up his sleeve with a run that
included a double cork 12 mute, switch 10 mute and alley-oop double flat
9 japan, much to the delight of his loyal and passionate fans.
And in the end, David Wise took the top spot after dropping in last with a run that included a switch cork 7, to right side cork 9 tail, cork 9 nose, alley-oop flat 5 tail and finished things up with a double cork 12 mute, scoring a 91.33.
David Wise casually chatting with his coach at the top of the pipe before his run…
…and being even more casual during a huge alley-oop flat 5 tail.
1) David Wise - 91.33
2) Thomas Krief - 88.33
3) Torin Yater-Wallace - 87.33
4) Gus Kenworthy - 86.66
5) Noah Bowman - 85.33
6) Justin Dorey - 83.00
7) Matt Margetts - 81.66
8) Xavier Bertoni - 81.00
9) Benoit Valentin - 80.00
10) AJ Kemppainen - 77.00
11) Mike Riddle - 76.00
12) Jossi Wells - 74.66
13) Nils Lauper - 60.00
14) Antoine Blanchi - 42.00
15) Duncan Adams - 30.33
16) Nicolas Bijasson - 14.00
Stay tuned for more coverage on European X Games, which concludes this evening with Women’s and Men’s Ski Superpipe Finals, and for a look at when you can watch it all go down on ESPN, click here.