In a few short days, loads of pros including a few members of the US Olympic team, will take to the halfpipe and slopestyle course at Mammoth Mountain. The talk of this event is which female ripper will be crowned the TTR champion; the slopestyle top dog Jamie Anderson or halfpipe superstar Kelly Clark. As of now, Anderson sits in the number one seed, however, the two ladies are close enough that it all comes down to the wire and depends on what goes down in Mammoth this week.
At last year’s event at Mammoth, Danny Davis stole the show with his acclaimed “best halfpipe run of all time” that knocked a bitter Shaun White off the top of the podium. Everyone is wondering what is in store for this year’s Grand Prix – with double corks being the norm these days, riders will surely be sending it and going huge in an attempt to step up their game. Vito, Bretz, and Mitrani are all on the roster to compete.
On top of that, slopestyle competitions are seeing some gnarly tricks as of late and the young riders seem to know how to get it done. Will they sweep the podium like they did at Winter X?
Sure it’s usually all fun ‘n games up at Mammoth Mountain, however, the riding will get serious as points and rankings get put to the test. Check out the official press release:
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CA – The Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix is making its way back to sunny Mammoth Mountain for the second year in a row to wrap up an exciting halfpipe snowboarding season. The stacked athlete lineup includes 1080 master Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT), breakout star Kaitlyn Farrington (Sun Valley, ID) and X Games bronze medalist Louie Vito (Sandy, UT).
In 2010 Mammoth played host to one of the most progressive halfpipe competitions of the season thanks to Danny Davis knocking out three double corked tricks to take a Grand Prix win. Now, Mammoth’s 22-foot-halfpipe will be in tip top shape to host not only a halfpipe competition loaded with the best riders in the western hemisphere, but also a slopestyle competition March 2-6.
The action kicks off Friday with men’s and women’s slopestyle snowboarding and the Tour wraps up Saturday with men’s and women’s halfpipe finals. On the line at the Mammoth event is the overall Grand Prix title, and the competition is fierce.
The women’s field is led by Clark, who not only touts two Olympic medals but also recently laid claim to the title ‘first woman to ever land a 1080 in competition.’ Running right along side Clark is none other than Farrington, who has spent the season showing everyone that she’s a force in the halfpipe thanks to a win at the season’s opening Grand Prix in Copper as well as a silver medal at the X Games.
For Clark, she’s ready to put together something extra special to close out the season, and she’s talking about more than her 10s.
“I’m really happy with the way my season is going. I have a little break right now, and I have a trick that I’m gunning for. I’m looking forward to being in Mammoth and being on a sunny wall and getting to really work out my run for the end of the season,” Clark said. “The consistency is there, and the 10 isn’t the hardest part anymore. I’m going to add some new components and hopefully build on it.”
In the men’s field, Vito leads the way with two Grand prix wins already in his pocket. But that doesn’t mean the likes of home-mountain rider Greg Bretz (Mammoth Mountain, CO) and the rest of the field won’t be looking at a chance to grace the podium with their presence.
“I’m looking forward to heading to the last stop of the Grand Prix in Mammoth,” Vito said. “Whenever you go to Mammoth, you know you can expect a good set up and venue. That’s how Mammoth does it!”
Known for being the only resort in North America to offer three different-sized halfpipes, Mammoth Mountain is the place to be in early March to see halfpipe snowboarding’s best look to add another season title to their arsenal. Be there.
2011 Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain
Thursday, March 3
9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Men Heat #1 Halfpipe Qualifiers
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Men Heat #2 Halfpipe Qualifiers
Friday, March 4
9:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Men Slopestyle Qualifiers
12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Women Slopestyle Qualifiers
2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Slopestyle Finals
Saturday, March 5
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Halfpipe Finals