After fierce competition during the qualifier on Wednesday, a roster of elite athletes came out determined to take home the win in the Women's Freeski Superpipe Final at the iON Mountain Championships. With the discipline's inclusion in the 2014 Winter Olympics, the competition was fierce today as the U.S. athletes were not only competing for a Dew Cup, but also working hard to earn valuable USSA points to compete in Sochi.
Each of the eight freeskiers who advanced from qualifier earlier this week had two runs down the pipe, with only their best score counting. Although each rider laid it all on the line today, some ladies went higher and stomped harder than the rest.
Qualifying first for today’s event was Angeli VanLaanen who came in hot on Wednesday airing significantly higher than her competition. VanLaanen is more than an amazing freeskier, she is an inspiration to those around her as she has recently made her return to the sport she loves following 14 years of misdiagnosis for Lyme disease. Well, it is clear that those days are behind her following her showing in the pipe this week -- VanLaanen has been on a tear.
"I'm still really excited I landed my first 900," said Logan about her final run. The finals were "good practice going into Grand Prix."
VanLaanen’s second and best scoring run started off with a massive left wall critical air far higher than her competition. She continued down the pipe to pull a 540 mute, a right 540 safety, a left 720 safety, to a switch 360, a mute grab and finally a mute grab alley-oop safety.
“It was the same run I did in qualifying but I cleaned it up and went bigger,” exclaimed VanLannen, and she certainly did go bigger. “I think whenever you do a trick with more amplitude it becomes more challenging, the technicality goes up. I think it lent a huge hand in me placing second today, absolutely.”
Another lady that has been impressing this week was Maddie Bowman. Bowman rides aggressively and all week she has been ripping the pipe a new one. Bowman was in first place after the first round of runs and stayed atop the leaderboard, despite wiping out on her final run. Her mom revealed Maddie was a "crash machine" in the week leading up to the Dew Tour with all the added pressure this event brings.
Bowman’s first run held true to the end an earned the overall win for the first-ever U.S. freeski team selection event and, of course, the Dew Cup! Bowman’s run started with a straight air Japan into a right 900 that lined her up for a left 540 mute, she continued to do a straight air mute to a corked 900 that put her in position to do a right 720 and finally ending with a switch 540.
“I’m excited,” screamed Bowman, absolutely elated with her placing. “[The Dew Tour pipe at Breckenridge] was sweet! I think it is one of the best pipes we ride all year.”
1st Place - Maddie Bowman
2nd Place – Angeli VanLaanen
3rd Place - Brita Sigourney
4th Place – Ayana Onozuka
5th Place – Anais Caradeux
6th Place – Devin Logan
7th Place – Rowan Cheshire
8th Place – Annalisa Drew