Up and over the photographer on Roz's way to gold.
In the day's dying light here in Tignes, France, Rosalind Groenewoud has won the gold medal in women's superpipe, at Winter X Games Europe. The young Canadian has now taken back-to-back gold medals in X Games competition. In a contest that began with a moment of silence for the late Sarah Burke, the women poured their hearts into the Superpipe, in what was surely a bittersweet day for Groenewoud, and many other competitors. Devin Logan, who was uncharacteristically off the podium in the slopestyle competition, snagged silver today. And Anais Caradeux managed a bronze medal performance, the second of her career here in Tignes, France.
This was Roz's first Euro X gold medal, and her second X gold overall. She was sitting in silver going into her—and the contest's—final run of the evening. She kicked it off with her trademark lofty straight air on the right way before going into her unique 900. She then went into back-to-back 540s, showing her spinning versatility. Roz then dropped a 720 on the right wall before capping the run off with a switch 540. The cleanliness of her third run was enough to jump a few points from her previous score.
Devin Logan and her 540.
While Roz went for the technical run (three right spins and two left spins), Devin went for more amplitude and style. Devin, like Roz, kicked things off with a lofty straight air, but on the left wall. She then went into her signature 540 tail grab then she dropped a flare in to the mix. Another straight and an alley-oop 180 later, Devin was getting into her own 720. After that she ended on a switch alley-oop 540. Devin has yet to find the top of the podium in X competition, but she has certainly been a model of consistency of late, podium-ing in almost every contest she's entered. She also snagged bronze in the superpipe in 2011.
Anais Caradeux, who was sitting on the outside looking in before her third run, put it together in front of a home-country crowd. The fiery Frenchy showed quite a bit of aggressiveness in the pipe tonight. She used a big 540 on the right wall to get her run going, markedly different from the other two medal grabbers. She kept the next hit mellow with a straight air before uncorking a large 900 on the right wall. After an alley-oop 180 and straight air, Anais put down an alley-oop 540 and 720. Anais has yet to win a European X Games gold, but she's been accustomed to the podium, taking silver in 2011 and bronze in 2010.
Devin Logan, Rosalind Groenewoud, Anais Caradeux
Fan favorite Virginie Faivre wasn't too far off the podium as she made a reappearance in the superpipe. Heralded as one of the more stylish women in the superpipe, Virg made her presence known, despite her small stature. With back-to-back 540s that many call the best in the game, Virg was only held back by her amplitude, when compared to the top three ladies. Canada's Megan Gunning has been unable to replicate her 2010 winning ways, but she still put her incredible 900 on display for all to enjoy. Gunning just had some bobbles throughout all three of her runs that kept her under the 80-point ceiling tonight.
Heavily considered a favorite going into the event, Maddie Bowman of the Lake Tahoe area, was outclassed today. While she unwrapped her 900 and right 720 for the judges, her amplitude is what kept her back. Some also pointed to an apparently skipped hit at the bottom of the pipe to what could have torpedoed her chances for the podium. Ayana Onozuka, the first Japanese female to compete at Euro X showed she wasn't afraid by having some of the highest consistent amplitude of the night. While she still lacks some of the more technical tricks, her gusto will more than bridge that gap for the time being.
Swiss veterans Katrien Aerts and Mirjam Jeager put forth their best efforts, but they were also held back by the amplitude barrier that plagues any halfpipe competition. Both ladies utilized alley-oop spins to their advantage, but couldn't convert on some key hits where other ladies did. Mirjam seemed to take quite a spill on her third run, so hopefully she's not seriously dinged up. And rounding out the finals was Canada's Keltie Hansen. Ms. Hansen, who is no stranger to the podium, fell all three runs, amidst her normally perfect 900s. She escaped major injury to fight another day, which many consider a victory in and of itself.
This concludes the women's portion of the Winter X Games Europe, from Tignes, France. The only thing left tonight is the men's superpipe competition, the marquee event of Euro X. Stay tuned.
Women's Final Results:
1_ Rosalind Groenewoud – 89.33
2_ Devin Logan – 87.66
3_ Anais Caradeux – 85.00
4_ Virginie Faivre – 81.66
5_ Megan Gunning – 77.00
6_ Maddie Bowman – 75.33
7_ Ayana Onozuka – 73.00
8_ Katrien Aerts – 65.66
9_ Mirjam Jaeger – 63.33
10_ Keltie Hansen – 43.33
Tonight's contest likely solidified Roz's place in the AFP Superpipe rankings, but what about the rest of the pack? Mosey on over to the AFP Women's Superpipe Rankings page to find out.