Sarah Burke Wins X Games 15 Women’s Superpipe

January 28th, 2011 by

Sarah Burke on her night.


After a one year hiatus off the podium Sarah Burke has once again found herself on top of the food chain, taking tonight's Women's Superpipe with an impressive display of equal parts trickery and tenaciousness. After crashing on her second-hit 900 during her first run, Burke pulled out all the stops in her second.

Sarah's run started with a big left-wall straight air then dropped in to her massive corked 900. She then went into an alley-oop air to set up her back-to-back flares, ending things off with a 720. Queue the crowd going wild.

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L-R: Brita Sigourney, Sarah Burke, Rosalind Groenewoud

Brita Sigourney, first time X Gamer and recipient of the largest crowd cheering section, took home a silver medal tonight. With some of the highest amplitudes of the night, Brita put down a 540, 900, alley-oop 540 and 720 on her way grabbing that hardware. Every time Sigourney came down to the bottom of the pipe, the fan section went into a Bieber-esque cheering freezing.

Rosalind Groenewoud, who was on the outside looking in before her final run, grabbed her third consecutive bronze medal tonight. She was consistent, steadily upping the cleanliness and fluidity of her run. Owner of the highest single air on her first hit straight air, Roz then moved into the 900. After putting that maneuver down, three times in a row mind you, Roz went into back-to-back 540s, a leftside 360 and switch down the pipe 540.

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Sarah Burke airing it out.

A mere 1.67 points behind Groenewoud was mini-French lady Anais Caradeux. Animated and full of energy she attacked the course stomping 900s, alley-oop 540s and final hit 720s. Anais was good enough to grab a medal at last year's Euro X Games, but tonight, she was just off podium form.

Last year's gold medalist Jen Hudak was unable to defend her title. After going down on her 720 first run, Jen managed to put a decent run together that included a 900, 540, alley-oop 540 and 720. Looking to clean things up and crank up the technicality notch in her third and final run, Jen pulled out the last hit 1080. Unfortunately, after she looked to have stomped, she kicked a shoe and went down. Props to Jen for holding it down tonight.

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The exact moment Sarah and Brita found out they were gold and silver.

Wednesday's top qualifier, Devin Logan rounded out the top six in finals tonight. After putting down her safety run that includes two 540s and a flare, Devin went for it with the back-to-back flare combination. However, unlike Burke, Devin couldn't quite put the combo to her feet.

While all the ladies skied their hearts out, tonight was Burke's night. For those who don't know, Burke was sidelined all early season recovering from shoulder surgery, giving her an extremely small window in which to train for this contest. But it looks like nine or so days was enough, as tonight marked her fourth Sueprpipe gold here in Aspen and her sixth medal at Winter X Aspen overall.

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Roz G. doing her thing.

The lights have now faded on the Women's events here in Aspen, with Burke's win tonight and Kaya's win earlier today on the slope course. This was Burke's first AFP-eligible event of the year, so we'll see where she ends up on the list. Brita Sigourney and her second place will almost certainly stay atop the AFP list… But where will all the other ladies shake out? What does this mean for other Superpipe contenders? For all these answers and more, visit the AFP website for more information and current rankings.

Good night from Aspen and we'll see everyone tomorrow afternoon for Men's Superpipe finals.

Women's Superpipe Results:
1. Sarah Burke — 91.33
2. Brita Sigourney — 86.00
3. Roz Groenewoud — 84.00
4. Anais Caradeux — 82.33
5. Jen Hudak — 78.00
6. Devin Logan — 68.33 

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About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.