Of the six podium places up for grabs in the World Cup halfpipe contest at Copper Mountain, the Americans walked away with five of them - the least surprising of which was Chloe Kim bagging yet another victory in the women’s event.
It wasn’t a safety run by any means, however, with a huge frontside 1080 into a stylish cab 7 among the highlights.
"Ben Ferg immediately impressed with an ace back 1 drop-in"
Compatriots Maddie Mastro and Kelly Clark - with her sights on a record fifth trip to the Olympics - would have to settle for 2nd and 3rd place respectively, after putting down runs that were solid if not inspired.
From what we saw in Copper, the 'lympic crown remains Chloe's to lose.
It was another veteran that took bronze in the men’s event - Shaun White. His run had all the El Blanco classics, including front 14, ‘skyhook’ 540, and double McTwist 1260, but he finished half a point behind Ben Ferguson. It wasn’t a decision he liked, the clue being the fact that his facemask stayed on during the podium presentation. Expect him to come out hungrier than ever at Dew Tour this weekend.
Ben Ferg immediately impressed with an ace back 1 drop-in, and the rest of his run lived up to it. The spiritual successor to Danny Davis doesn’t go all-out for contest victories, juggling pipe training with the production of movies like this, but he’s got enough natural talent to challenge anyone on his day.
In this particular case, however, Ayumu Hirano was unbeatable. His run included a typically massive backside air to kick things off, and no spin smaller than a 9 - although there was definitely some questionable boot-grabbing going on.
Most of halfpipe's big names (including all six of the above) will be hanging around Colorado to attend the Dew Tour, which takes over Breckenridge from 14th-17th December, after which there's another World Cup event in China.