Kevin Rolland takes the top qualifying spot at X Games Superpipe

Kevin Rolland takes the top qualifying spot at X Games Superpipe

Thomas "toto" Krief gets a nice view.

After the women had done their thing in the X Games Superpipe tonight, it was the men's turn to put on a show. The temperatures steadily dropped, the crowd steadily gathered and the intensity was cranked up a few notches tonight. As with the women's elimination rounds, the men's is just as stressful and nerve wracking. Cutting the field in half, from 16 to 8, is a tall order, here is how things shook out.
Last year's X Games and Euro X gold medalist Kevin Rolland stole the top spot from David Wise on the final drop of the night. Pipe double 900 to alley oop flatspin 360 to switch 900 to switch right 720 to double cork 900 was more than enough to best Wise by more than two points. Wise, whose first run was on top almost all night, put together a podium worth run himself: double cork 1260, right 900, left 900, alley oop 360, switch 720 and alley oop flatpsin 540. Both Wise and Rolland maintained their amplitude throughout and move into Friday's competition in a favorable position.
The Dumont's double cork 1260.
Aspen local and "it" skier Torin Yater-Wallace took the third spot tonight. With some of the highest amplitudes of the night, Torin tore the pipe up with massive back-to-back 900s, cork 1260s, alley-oop flatspin 540s and a last hit alley-oop double flatspin 900. Surely on Friday night, he'll have the largest cheering section of any competitor. 
Justin Dorey, who has never medaled in Aspen at Winter X, is gunning for the podium. After stomping a solid run (double cork 1260, alley oop flat 360, switch 900 and the such), Dorey demonstrated some more of his tricks, dropping an alley-oop double flatspin 720, but put on the brakes before his next run. Be assured the Bone-saw will bring out all the guns on Friday night.
Torin Yater-Wallace is pumped about something.
Simon Dumont, whose binding clicked off first run, put together a technically difficult, yet rough-around-the-edges run, grabbing 5th. His double cork 1260, right 900, pipe double 900, alley-oop 720 and switch 720 will more than likely be bigger, cleaner and even swapped in favor of tougher rotations. After being shut out of the medals last X, Dumont will be gunning.
Thomas Krief, Duncan Adams and Xavier Bertoni occupied the final three qualifying spots. Both Frenchman used pipe double 900s, and Krief snuck in a double cork 1260 in his run as well. Duncan Adams went with his signature switch-oriented run, focusing more on style and spinning. None of his tricks are over a 720 in rotation.
Pistol Pete at Pipe Qualifiers.
With every prelim round, there are some guys left out. Unfortunately for Byron Wells, he was the first to not make it. His first run may have been a bit underscored, but his bigger and cleaner second run (switch 1080, back-to-back 900s, and massive 540) was lost as he couldn't keep his feet under him on the last hit 540.
Taylor Seaton and Matt Margetts both put down runs, neither of which were quite able to crack the top eight. Margetts augmented his second run to include a pipe double flip, but he uncharacteristically crashed the last-hit alley-oop flatspin 360, ending his X Games run this go 'round.
Last year's silver medalist, Jossi Wells crashed both runs tonight. Jossi went down on the last hit of his first run, placing all the pressure on his second. During his second run, Jossi rolled the dice and dropped a switch double flip 1080, but couldn't quite keep it in the pipe. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) The Boss still has two more events in Aspen this weekend, so we wish him the best of luck.
Mr. Wise's alley-oop flatpsin 540.
Peter Olenick couldn't keep his feet under him, as he's still recovering from a knee surgery. But Pistol Pete was rugged enough to put some double flips in his run to give the crowd a show. AJ Kemppainen, whose bindings decided to click off both runs, in the exact same spot, ended his X Games bid. Mike Riddle fell prey to the binding monster on his first run, and crashed his double cork 1260 on his second, extending Riddle's North American X Games curse. Lastley, Tucker Perkins sustained concussion like symptoms in practice therefore he was unable to compete. We wish him a speedy recovery.
With the finals line up all set for Friday night, it becomes a waiting game. Will Rolland repeat his performance from last year? Will David Wise, Torin Yater-Wallace or Thomas Krief (all first time X finalists) grab some hardwear? Can Bertoni or Dumont grab gold medal glory again? All will be answered, here at X Games 15, on Friday night.
Men's Elimination Results: 
1. Kevin Rolland — 95.00
2. David Wise — 92.66
3. Torin Yater-Wallace — 91.00
4. Justin Dorey — 89.00
5. Simon Dumont — 83.66
6. Thomas Krief —  83.00
7. Duncan Adams — 80.00
8. Xavier Bertoni — 77.33
_ _ _ Cut Off _ _ _
9. Byron Wells — 74.66
10. Taylor Seaton — 70.00
11. Matt Margetts — 64.66
12. Jossi Wells — 41.66
13. Peter Olenick — 25.33
14. AJ Kemppainen — 14.00
15. Mike Riddle — 9.00
16. Tucker Perkins — DNS

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