On a perfect day in Colorado, Men's and Women's Slope Finals were heated! Anna Gasser and Mark McMorris found themselves on top of the podium after some insane riding, and extremely progressive runs. The Burton U.S. Open always brings out the best riding in all the competitors, and today really showcased that.
Anna Gasser threw a double cork 9 in her winning run that was way above the level of riding any other Female rider brought to the table. Sending it so huge too, it was definitely the highlight of the Women's Finals and look for this level of riding to possibly be a standard in a year when some Olympic Medals are on the line.
Jamie Anderson came in a close 2nd after her smooth, effortless style gave her a solid score on her best run of the day. Jamie is a dominant force in snowboarding, and it's a rare occasion for her to not finish on the podium. Impressive riding from her all week, including qualifying First in the Semis, and it was really fun to watch. Spencer O'Brien was going big all week as well, and was able to snag the 3rd place finish on Friday. After battling injuries all year, it was great to see Spencer throw down some solid runs in Semis and a great run in the Finals to earn that last podium spot.
On the Men's side of things, Summit County local Chris Corning started off the Finals with a clean, gnarly run that he absolutely stomped! People will pick up pretty quick how good this young buck is, and it was so sick to see him throw down like that today. He didn't make the podium but a very respectable 5th place in a field of originally 29 of the best riders in the world. Another Summit County local, Red Gerard, had an impressive outing throwing some heavy tricks together for the 7th place finish beating out such names as Seb Toots and Brandon Davis. Pretty damn impressive riding from the youngest competitor in the field, and the next stop for him will be X Games Norway next week.
Taking the Win was Mark McMorris who has now won 3 US Open titles. Launching an 810 out of a full speed board slide on the giant cannon box, and stomping a Switch Back Triple 1620 Melon were the highlights of his ridiculous run. The consistency and technicality of his riding is tough for anyone to match, he is a dominant force and it's really no surprise to see him put down a winning run.
2nd Place went to another Canadian, Mikey Ciccarelli, who was throwing down all week and managed to land a massive Cab 1620 Melon on his final run that bumped him up to a podium spot! He had never tried this trick in a contest before, didn't try it all week, and has only landed it once. Sven Thorgren, who qualified First during Semis, stomped another solid run for the 3rd and final podium spot. His explosive style could not be ignored all week and big things are to come from this young rider as he gets better and better. The riding at this contest is seriously insane and this is just a glimpse of what we an expect next year at the Olympics. Seriously though, Seb Toots landed the first ever Cab 1620 Tail Grab and didn't even finish in the top 5. It's hard to believe how much these riders progress each year and a lot of these guys are hopping on a plane to do it all again at X Games Norway next week.
Definitely a great outing from all 10 finalists from the Men and 5, would have been 6, from the Women! Can't wait to see what goes down for Halfpipe Finals starting Saturday at 11am with the Women's Final kicking it off followed by the Men's. Congrats to all the riders who made it out for the 35th annual Burton US Open.