There were no surprises on the WSC podium this Sunday. Park City local Tanner Hall pulled a three-peat, taking first place in yet another superpipe competition after victory at the U.S. Open and X Games, last season's injuries seemingly a distant memory. Hall went big despite the decelerating snowfall, throwing some smooth 540s, 900s and flares, stomping clean landings.
Check out World Superpipe Championship photos below.
Simon Dumont boosted his way deservedly into second place with a solid run including back-to-back 540s and neglecting his trademark first-hit truck driver for a nosegrab. Amplitude got Andy Woods third place on the podium, redeeming his straight airs with a right flare, a 900, and a 720.
While riders at adjacent resorts were thanking the skies and diligently tracking out the socked-in mountains, skiers and photographers in Park City's famed superpipe were cursing. Competitors were reliant on luck for the timing of their runs, with conditions varying from calm and partly sunny to near blizzard. It was slow going, with ankle-deep pow piling up in the center of the pipe. "I got like two feet out on my first hit, complained Josh Bibby.
Frenchman Laurent Favre smashed his ankle hard on the coping spinning a down-the-pipe 900 to yard sale on his first run, which put him out for the rest of the contest. Friends ran to his aid from the bottom of the pipe, but he managed to get up and slide down on his own. "I think I blew my knee, he said later, sitting with a sympathetic Ashley Battersby, who is currently recuperating from knee surgery herself.
Relative newcomer Loic Collomb-Patton built upon the already strong pipe reputation he's earned in the U.S. this season. He represented for his home resort of La Clusaz, coming in fourth. His switch alley-oop 1080 got the crowd thoroughly pumped up. As did Scott Hibbertt, who got whoops from the stands after he pulled out the double backflip he debuted recently at the Aspen Snowmass Open. And this time, he almost landed it. American Matt Hayward didn't seem to mind the slower conditions, spinning an insane 1260 on his first hit.
As soon as the podium formalities were over with, everyone vanished to go play human pinball between the trees in the waiting Utah powder, and complaints over fresh snow soon turned to compliments.
Go to www.worldsuperpipe.com for full results and scores.
March 14, 2006