By Tawnya Schultz
After a somewhat eventful week in which he walked away from an avalanche accident and a twenty-second birthday celebration, it was Torstein Horgmo who beat out Shaun White for the Toyota Championship Slopestyle title. Truckee local Chas Guldemond stomped a remarkably aggressive run, ultimately placing third. Shaun White, however, won the Slopestyle Dew Cup for his 20-point tour-lead over Torstein’s 260. Regardless, This Norwegian was kinda okay with it.
"I was so stoked after landing my first run," Torstein said, adding, however, he was saddened to see a good buddy get injured. On the last hit of his first run, fellow Scando Mikkel Bang buckled his landing; he was taken to a local hospital for medical attention.
Shaun White, after earning 89.67 points for his "relaxed" first run, attempted an under-flip off the pole jam, which caused him to sketch out on the landing. No worries, though. Shaun surely knew that, so long as his first-run score stuck in the top-three, his overall tour-point accumulation would secure him the Dew Cup. Charles Guldemond made a close bid at White, trailing by a mere .67 points. Even if Chas had displaced him to third, Shaun would have found himself in a ten-point-wide pocket between Guldemond and the dealing-breaking fourth place, occupied by Dan Brisse.
But not to diminish Guldemond’s achievements; in his first run, Chas hucked an insane switch backside 12 off the last kicker, evoking a roar of cheers from the riders in the start tent. "I stomped it!" Chas said shortly after. "I ended up going so big off that first hit." Scotty Lago was also slaying the course, but after the final hits of both runs he had a problem over rotating and sliding out on his landings. The youngest of the bunch, Tyler Flanagan, looked like a seasoned pro stomping a backside 1080 off the last kicker.
Capita and Volcom rider, Dan Brisse, came out swinging, yet he ultimately finished fourth. "It would have been awesome to make the podium but it's all good," Dan said. "The course was really fun. The pole jam feature was definitely my favorite."
The top Prelim leader, Andreas Wiig (who dug Torstein from the avalanche), was also having an off-day. He fell during his first run while hitting the pole jam feature at the top of the course; he fell, too, after one of the last kickers. Despite his twelfth-slot finish today, Andreas finished third-place in overall tour-standings.
In the end though it was Torstein's first-run score of 93.50 that earned him the Toyota Championship. During his run, Torstein pulled a cab 270 onto the first box and a boardslide backside 450 off of the pole jam. When he approached the first kicker he launched a cab 1080, which set him up for a frontside 270 on the down-flat-down rail. Through the last two hits, he stomped a backside 9 and a switch back 12. Whew, that’s a mouthful. Despite his somber mood after Mikkel’s injury, he did let on he how he was glad about the results. "It's always fun to ride with all these guys,” Torstein said. “Everyone was just killing it."