[Winter X Games Europe saw a clean sweep for Speak Up Shaun White as he followed up last night's pipe win by taking Slopestyle too.]
Shaun White just showed the world that he in fact does have what it takes to compete in the über-hucking world of contemporary slopestyle snowboarding by winning the Winter X Games in Tignes. Mark McMorris came second and Eric Willett rounded out the podium. Check the videos of the top 3 runs...
No sooner had we posted the videos of last night's Winter X Games Europe halfpipe finals - won by you know who - than the men's slopestyle finals began, thus scuppering our plans to analyse yesterday's action. In brief, Shaun's win was fine by us because while Louie Vito did four doubles and a front 12, Shaun just went SO big on all his tricks - the backside air and the front 5 were dismissed by many but they were BOOMING - so we're happy to see amplitude rewarded hansomely.
2ND - MARK MCMORRIS
So to today's haps. It was the first slopestyle contest White had entered since 2009 and there's been a lot of chat about if he's got what it takes to compete in this discipline now that the level of riding has bootstrapped itself up to maddening levels of technicality. When he was slated to ride the Aspen X Games slope but pulled out with 'injury', only to win the pipe a few days later, many (including ourselves) were scoffing that he'd pussied out. Well, looks like we were wrong as from the first run today he didn't look out of place at all (apart from his getup and, it must be said, his horrific addiction to boot grabs) and posted a 95 point score that no one, apart from himself, could beat. It was his second run that nabbed him the highest score of 97 points, mixing in a gap cab 270 boardslide, cab 5 hop up to back lip-to-fakie, switch backside double 10, cab double 12, back double 12 and finishing off with a fakie to forwards boardslide.
3RD - ERIC WILLETT
He was aided by the inability of many riders to land a clean run and, sure, a couple dudes (notably Ståle Sandbech) were harshly scored, but - and this comes from a group of people who find much to dislike about Shaun White - in our opinion he fully deserved both his wins, despite the judges getting their jazz hands going a little to easily for him. He's certainly, for our money, not the best snowboarder on the planet but if there's a better competitive snowboarder around we've yet to see them.
Watch the women's podium Winter X Games Europe slopestyle runs here. Jamie Anderson is a frickin' boss.