David Wise and Maddie Bowman kept win streaks intact Saturday, taking home the men's and women's halfpipe crowns at the Park City Grand Prix stop. The wins are the second major titles in as many weeks for the pair of Americans, as both grabbed Winter X gold in the SuperPipe last week.
On a sun-filled day that felt more like April than early February, competitors were pushing the envelope from the get go, boosting off poppy 22-foot walls and soaking up the best conditions of the competition season thus far.
But nice weather didn't necessarily equate to stomped runs, as nearly half of the skiers on the men's side fell on their first run. Simon d'Artois had to be taken off course with a concussion after a gnarly crash on his first run, but still managed a crowd wave as he exited the pipe.
After the brief delay, Wise pulled off his first run flawlessly, landing the same line as Winter X with a series of three double corks and a floated alley oop 540. He fell on his second go-around, so that first score made all the difference.
"I'm just glad I put down my first run," says the 22-year old Reno native. "Because I fell on my second and I had to watch the best skiers in the world drop in after me, it was pretty nerve-racking."
And he had reason to be nervous, with Torin Yater-Wallace and Frenchman Kevin Rolland landing huge runs on their second go around. Rolland's hits consistently flirted with the upper atmosphere as he boosted the highest amplitudes of the day, capping his run with a massive double cork 1260. Yater-Wallace looked smooth, styling out his run with two double flatspin 900s in just his second competition back from shoulder surgery. Still, in the end it was Wise's show, with Yater-Wallace settling for second and Rolland third. Top qualifier Mike Riddle ended up in sixth.
On the ladies' side, Bowman also used a first run push to put the competition out of reach. Her pair of 900s and tight skiing had the rest of the field fighting to keep up. Japanese skier Ayana Onuzuka used back-to-back 540s to vault into second position and Virginie Faivre of Switzerland skied to a strong third place finish. After falling in practice and sitting out her first run, Brita Sigourney laid down a gutsy second run that might have shaken things up had she not bobbled on her final landing.
With action wrapped up in Park City, pipe athletes now await word on the next World Cup stop in Sochi, Russia. The 2014 Winter Olympic host has already cancelled its World Cup slopestyle event due to lack of snow and the rest of the competition is in danger of being postponed as well after an onslaught of rain and warm temperatures.
1. David Wise USA 93.8
2. Torin Yater-Wallace USA 93.6
3. Kevin Rolland FRA 93.0
4. Thomas Krief FRA 91.8
5. Aaron Blunck USA 91.4
6. Mike Riddle CAN 89.6
7. Matt Margetts CAN 89.4
8. Simon Dumont USA 88.4
9. Tucker Perkins USA 87.8
10. Beau-James Wells NZL 82.6
1. Maddie Bowman USA 85.2
2. Ayana Onozuka JPN 84.4
3. Virginie Faivre SUI 82.8
4. Anais Caradeux FRA 82.6
5. Rosalind Groenewoud 82.2
6. Annalisa Drew USA 80.8
7. Mirjam Jaeger SUI 79.8
8. Megan Gunning CAN 75.2
9. Tiril Christiansen Sjaastad NOR 67.8
10. Brita Sigourney USA 67.0