Oakley Athletes Place At Euro X Games Superpipe
Pandemonium. That is the only way to describe the scene tonight at the Superpipe here in TIgnes. During a cold night, France’s Kevin Rolland and Xavier Bertoni took spots 1 and 2, with Canada’s Justin Dorey taking the 3rd place spot on the podium. Nearly 17,000 fans were on hand to witness Kevin Rolland take his 2nd X Games gold of the year, nearly all of them cheering on Kevin and Xavier.
Kevin’s run consisted of a double flip to alley oop flatspin 360, to switch 720 to flare to double cork 1260. All giant, all perfect. His first run gave him a 95.00 and he upped his score by less than a point on his 3rd run. Every time Kevin dropped in, landed a trick or generally looked in the direction of the pipe, the crowd went nuts. Xavier Bertoni’s double flip, 900, right 900, alley oop flatspin 360, switch right 720 to 1080 was good enough for 2nd. And Justin Dorey’s back to back doubles, alley oop flatspin 360, switch 900, switch right 720 to alley oop flatpsin 540 held on for 3rd place. All three podium contenders went gigantic and had smooth runs.
Mike Riddle barely missed the podium, whose double flip, right 900, left 900, alley oop flatspin 360, switch 900 were so smooth I think the ladies fainted. Byron Wells, whose first run held on for 5th, was Byron’s typically large, switch 720, alley oop flatpsin 540, back-to-back 900s and 540 nose. Byron made more than a few French fans tonight with that run. Jossi Wells, who was having trouble dialing in his double flips today, went with his 540, right 900, left 900, right 720, switch 720, alley oop flatpsin 540 which was good enough for 6th place. Tucker Perkins, who has been skiing well all year, dropped a double flips and more spinning than you can shake a stick at for 7th. And rounding out the group was AJ Kemppainen whose trademark symmetrical-on-both-walls style was on point tonight. While AJ came in 8th place, the level of riding was such that a great run like AJ’s was only good enough for last in finals.
On a side note, the French fans, while showing zeal and immense amounts of support for their countryman, were a little out of line.
Justin Dorey, who was the final rider to drop, fell on his first hit of his last run, effectively giving Kevin the win. Before Justin was even down to the bottom of the pipe, banners were being thrown into the pipe and people were breaking the barriers and charging into the pipe. While all hats off to Kevin and Xavier, the crowd should show more respect to the competitors of the entire event.
The last official event for skiers at European X Games was the Women’s Superpipe.
Virginie Faivre was a ball of energy in the pipe, spinning 540s on both walls, an air to fakie and a switch alley oop 720. Dania Assaly stole the show with her riding and her dancing in the corral. She stomped a 900 as well, both 540s and a pretty damn good 720 at the bottom to grab 5th