As quickly as X Games Aspen came, it’s already over for some, as this morning’s superpipe elimination round sent eight of 16 competitors packing. While those eight men will likely spend the next few days wondering what they might have done differently, today’s top finishers now look forward to Friday night’s superpipe final.
To reiterate, 16 invited athletes faced off in the superpipe today, with the top 8 finishers advancing to the final. Today’s format was two runs each, best run counts.
Qualifying first today was 2012 X Games superpipe champion, Reno, Nevada’s own David Wise. Wise stomped a solid first run, consisting of a rightside 7, switch left 7, rightside 9, double cork 12 and an alley-oop flatspin 5 to close, scoring an even 87. Wise stepped it up on his second run, incorporating a switch double in place of the switch left 7, upping his score to an even 92.
Second to Wise in the standings was Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace, who is competing for the first time since recovering from shoulder surgery. Torin showed no signs of rust, coming out of the start gate on his first run with a double cork 12 mute, alley-oop flatspin 5 critical, rightside 9 tail, left 10 tail, and switch right 9 to close. Torin was awarded a 90.0 for his efforts.
Rounding out the top three today was Flying Frenchmen Kevin Rolland. Rolland, who has been skiing well throughout the early-week training sessions, actually made a mistake on the first hit of his first run. Instead of stomping his planned double flip, Kevin added an extra 180 degrees of rotation, landing switch. Rolland then showed why he’s regarded as one of the best, completing his run with a bit of improvisation: Kevin linked his first hit with a switch right 7, double cork 12, rightside double flip, and leftside double flip—all with solid amplitude.
Speaking with David Wise, Torin Yater-Wallace and Aaron Blunck
Standout runs also came from Joffrey Pollet-Villard, who went absolutely huge on every single hit; Benoit Valentin, who is skiing very consistently of late; and 16-year-old Aaron Blunck, who’s hot off podium finishes at the US Grand Prix at Copper and The North Face PPOS at Copper. Also sneaking into the top eight were Tucker Perkins and Simon Dumont—who’s skiing with an injured wrist.
Missing the cut today were Noah Bowman, Tanner Hall (who is competing at X Games for the first time since his injuries in 2009), Matt Margetts (who took a horrific spill during the morning’s practice session, and still managed to compete, albeit with a few stitches in his chin), Jossi Wells, Alex Ferreira, Mike Riddle (surprisingly, as he has been skiing very well this season and was feeling great headed into the event), Thomas “Toto” Krief and Gus Kenworthy—the X Games “triple threat,” competing in pipe, slope and big air this weekend.
We now look forward to the men’s ski slopestyle elimination round tomorrow morning, and the ski superpipe finals tomorrow evening under the lights. Stay tuned for continued coverage from X Games Aspen, here at Buttermilk Mountain.
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– We predict David Wise will win the 2013 AFP superpipe title
– Check out the Winter X Games 17 competition schedule by day
– See the 2013 X Games Aspen television broadcast schedule
– Photo Gallery: See shots from first superpipe practice session at X Games Aspen
2013 X Games Aspen Superpipe Elimination Round Results
1. David Wise — 92.0
2. Torin Yater-Wallace — 90.0
3. Kevin Rolland — 88.0
4. Joffrey Pollet-Villard — 86.0
5. Benoit Valentin — 80.0
6. Aaron Blunck — 78.33
7. Tucker Perkins — 75.66
8. Simon Dumont — 72.66
Cutoff for finals
9. Noah Bowman — 70.66
10. Tanner Hall — 69.33
11. Matt Margetts — 68.0
12. Jossi Wells — 67.0
13. Alex Ferreira — 37.33
14. Mike Riddle — 34.66
15. Thomas Krief — 32.66
16. Gus Kenworthy — 14.66