Norway dominated the slopestyle course here in Tignes, with first and third spots for Silje and Kjersti. Jamie Anderson, multiple winner and grand favorite, squeeze in the middle. This was a hell of a good show and now everybody can get suited and booted for the party tonight!
Britain’s Aimee Fuller open things up for the girls, a bit nervous on the rails obviously, she manages to find her cool on the kickers to throw down Cab Underflip, back 3 and a good old backflip. Silje Norendal definitely looked better on her first rails of the day, before a nice Switch back 5 on the first kicker and her signature Rodeo front 7, perfectly landed. First place straight, with a high 90 points. The Swiss Sina Candrian can’t do better, despite another nice 7. The always stylish Kjersti Buaas doesn’t find her pace on this first run and bail a massive 5 attempt. Finland’s and former TTR winner Enni Rukajarvi also falls down on the kicker. Spencer O’Brien has a solid chance today and shows it on her back 5 and back 5, but gets a bit of a drag on her middle back 7. Sarka Pancochova obviously wants to step up and do her maximum on the kickers, but can’t hold on to land her (big) back 7. Shame, the Cab under flip was super nice. And… Jamie Anderson’s status doesn’t make her shake: super steely on the first rail sets, including a sick 270 gat to board, she then show she’s not the champion in title for nothing: Front 7, Back 5 and Switch Back 5. But those rails man! Or woman, more like… Surprise, the judges allows an (only) 85 points to the American, leaving Norendal in first place. O’Brien third at the end of round 1.
Silje is back en course and puts down another remarkable effort, both on rails and kickers. Switch on the top rails, then two 5s very cleanly landed, and then comes that Rodeo front 7 we were expecting. The judges obviously too: she’s improving with a podium like 93 points! It’s far from being over yet but the Norwegian can’t hold her tears of joy with mum at the bottom of the course.
Candrian feels it’s the moment to throw her biggest tricks and goes for a 10 on the second kicker! But doesn’t hold on to it. Shame, it was ballsy if we can say so. Kjersti doesn’t follow the same path and stays on the 5s, two of them, massively above the rest, at least by size. But then falls on the last kicker.
A very clean second run from Enni gives her 80 points from the judge, but Spencer bails on the second kicker going for a 7. Shames, the rails were stylish…
Same deal for Anderson on her second attempt. Will she able to fight Silje’s supergeil run? Nothing is less certain, Jamie is maybe not on her best days, but still shows a big smile at the bottom of the course. That Cab 7 attempt didn’t go well. End of round 2: Silje leads with 93, then come Anderson and Enni.
Final run for these X Games in Tignes, and Silje will have to wait until the end to know her fate, although her position is pretty enviable. Aimee Fuller kept her double backflip for the final run, but no grab, and a hand drag. 73 points, 5th position. And Silje’s on. Nervosity again? She falls down quite hard catching her back edge on the rail. Now she can just sit down and watch what’s going to happen.
Sina has got this 9 in her sleeve, but unfortunately doesn’t land it. That’s one more contender out for Silje. Kjersti end up the day with a clean run but not that tech on the rails maybe – four 50/50s with one front 3 out. Although, the judges got impressed with the size of her 5s and her front 7. Enni, Sarka and Spencer can’t keep it clean on the main kicker. it’s then only down to Jamie now, dancing in the start box, that can move the podium around. Off she goes with the steely gap 270, and a beautiful Front 7 tail, into a 5 and then looses a bit of speed to get out of the third kicker properly, and land short, even though she can ride away with obviously well-trained legs.
So that was it. Silje Norendal takes her first win, Jamie Anderson get the Silver this time, and Kjersti Buass Bronze.
It was a pretty sweet ending to these Euro X Games 2013, but there’s still the party tonight for all the athletes to keep the goodtimes rolling.
Don’t miss Sami’s gallery and the video highlights to come soon both for men and women slopestyle!