Vans Cup Tahoe
Northstar at Tahoe hosted the scene this weekend as the top riders from around the world flocked to battle for cash at the Vans Cup. With over $200,000 worth of prize money available, recent Olympic silver medalists Danny Kass and Gretchen Bleiler made their pipe appearances despite grueling schedules since they have returned to the US. Dingo was on hand to call it out and interviewed more than a dozen riders throughout the day, including Ross Powers, Todd Richards, and the Mitrani brothers.
Sunday’s weather was scheduled for about 4 feet of fresh snow, so in a mad dash to get the pipe competition moving, jam format was decided. The US may have taken the medals, but the international crew of riders won’t let them take all the cash home. Women’s kicked off with Gretchen Bleiler throwing her solid Olympic run consisting of a perfected crippler and 720 which allowed her to mix it up from there. Despite the first run being flawless, she had a hard time landing all of her tricks throughout the next hour and in the end, Torah Bright stole the first place spot with consistent technical runs. Even with the 2nd place spot, Gretchen took home a huge chunk of change and her outerwear full of champagne thanks to podium celebrations.
Men were up next and Giacomo "The Italian Stallion" Kratter shook off his Olympic disappointments and showed us all why the ladies love him. Despite major wind gusts, Giacomo was going huge which landed him in the 4th spot, just behind Kazu Kokubo who continuously stomped his runs throwing huge mctwists and making Japan proud in 3rd. Anti Autti ended up on top with Louie Vito coming in 2nd after landing his first 1080 and standing proud with all of the 5ft 4 inches he has.