Justin Dorey Wins Euro X Pipe Qualifiers

Justin Dorey Wins Euro X Pipe Qualifiers

The European X Games is full of surprises. Tonight marked the first event for the skiers in the form of Men’s Superpipe Qualifiers. Culling 16 of the world’s best pipe skiers down to 8 is no easy task and today, the challenge proved to be almost insurmountable. Windy and icy and cold conditions prevailed tonight, making things even harder for the skiers.

Justin Dorey took the big win in quals today with a double flip, and a switch 900 to switch right 720. Bam. Domination. Coming in 2nd was Xavier Bertoni, whose large and smooth and technical hits, right and left, were on point tonight. Xavier’s French companion Kevin Rolland, who was on the danger of not qualifying after the first run, used the French crowd’s energy to stomp his run, which included a first hit double, right and left 900s and a big 1260 at the bottom.

Jossi and Byron Wells who took the 4th and 5th spots respectively, looked like they were having the most fun. Jossi dropped into his first run, after dancing to his Lil Wayne drop in song for 2 minutes, dropping a smooth flair and 900, switch 720 and a grip of rightside spins. Jossi opted for a 2nd run full of flares and straight airs, to keep his body safe for tomorrow. Byron started things off with a switch 720 into a flatpsin to right and left 900s to a massive 540, which pumped the crowd up.

While Tucker did utilize the double flip tonight, he kept things safe with 900s and switch right 720s. Mike Riddle, who finally broke his X Games finals curse, used a relatively safe, but clean, 540, 900, right 900, alley oop flat 360, switch 720, right 720 to grab that 7th spot. And coming in on the bubble is Finland’s AJ Kemppainen. Young AJ’s style is so precise as he throws his 900s, right 900s, right 1080s and switch 720s it’s almost sickening.

And now the bad news. This is probably the first time in recent history (recent being the last 6 years) that Simon Dumont failed to make finals. The Dumont, who was blasting into space from the pipe, landed a bit sideways on his right 900, but kept his run going fine, yet was penalized enough by the judges to force his 2nd run, where he unfortunately crashed on his last hit, alley oop 900. Empire team rider Peter Olenick who kept his first run mellow, was forced to take a 2nd run too, where he crashed on his last hit 1080.

Banks Gilberti, Duncan Adams and Walter Wood all put in very strong showings, unfortunately, just were off the bubble spots. Frenchman Thomas Krief, who had huge crowd support, just wasn’t quite on the level, but his time will come.

If tonight’s showing of “safety” runs (which were ridiculous) were and indication of anything, then tomorrow night’s finals will be out of this world. Stay tuned.

Men’s qualification results:
1) Justin Dorey
2) Xavier Bertoni
3) Kevin Rolland
4) Jossi Wells
5) Byron Wells
6) Tucker Perkins
7) Mike Riddle
8) AJ Kemppainen

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