Sierra at Tahoe, Calif. (March 31, 2001) – The Ford Ranger North American Championships, the final leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding, played host to the Superpipe finals today as Daniel Franck and Kelly Clark were crowned Superpipe Champions. With excellent snow conditions, the Superpipe Finals gave the fans at Sierra at Tahoe a great show as 30 of the world’s best riders tore up the Superpipe.
Daniel Franck landed a monster McTwist in the second round recording a score of 37.3. This was just enough to edge out 1998 Olympic Gold Medal Winner Gian Simmen, who registered a best score of 37.2 in the first round after qualifying first in today’s semi-finals, but couldn’t catch Franck in the final round.
“I’m really happy to have won here at Sierra at Tahoe,” said Franck. “The weather has been great all weekend, so I just went out and had fun. Gian had a great first run, which pushed me to do better then him in round two. Fortunately my score held through the final round.”
The battle between Franck and Simmen wasn’t the only action taking place on the Superpipe. Therry Brunner put up an excellent Backside 900 in the second round, where he scored 35.20 and ended up in third place. Marcel Hitz and Abraham Teter rounded out the top-five with scores of 33.5 and 30.6 respectively.
In the women’s division, Kelly Clark was untouchable as she dominated the Superpipe Final from the start en route to chalking up the two highest scores of the day and besting her closest competitor by nearly 7 points. With a first run of five huge airs, Kelly set the standard in only the second run of the first round of the Finals to post a score of 34.4. Clark would come back in the second round to increase her distance from the field when she stomped an epic McTwist and was rewarded with an enormous score of 37.4 and the right to collect the year’s final title in the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding and the $7,500 winner’s check.
Tricia Byrnes and Doriane Vidal tied for the second place spot, with Byrnes taking the trophy on a tie-breaking second highest run score that bested Third Place Vidal by a mere 4 points. Fabienne Reuteler and Paige Warner both pulled off huge Backside 720’s on their final runs of the day to finish fourth and fifth respectively.
“I was looking to put up a consistent run of straight airs to start so I could throw something big on my second and third runs,” Clark said after the competition. “Once I saw my first run score, I knew I had to try a McTwist on my second and am just glad I pulled it off.”
The Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding is one of the seven Vans Triple Crown Series in as many sports. Points are tabulated from the top three Snowboarding events of the season, including the competitions at Breckenridge, CO, Snow Summit, CA and Sierra at Tahoe, CA and the winner is crowned at the final event. Participants earn points from their highest scoring discipline at each of the three events. The winner in the men’s division will receive a 2001 Ford Ranger and the winner of the women’s division will receive a trip for two to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Hawaii.
The Ford Ranger North American Championships continue tomorrow at Sierra at Tahoe with the Big Air Finals.
1. Daniel Franck (Norway) $10,000
2. Gian Simmen (Switzerland) $6,500
3. Therry Brunner (Switzerland) $4,000
4. Marcel Hitz (Switzerland) $3,000
5. Abraham Teter (Mammoth, Calif.) $2,000
6. J.J. Thomas (Golden, Colo.) $1,000
7. Charlie Morace (Mammoth, Calif.) $600
8. Nate Michels (Oshkosh, Wis.) $500
9. Kirk Short (Yuma, Ariz.) $400
10. Justin Lamoureux (Canada) $350
1. Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, Vt.) $7,500
2. Tricia Byrnes (Stratton, Vt.) $4,500
3. Doriane Vidal (France) $2,200
4. Fabienne Reuteler (Switzerland) $1,400
5. Paige Warner (River Forest, Ill.) $1,200
6. Autumn Rose (Squaw Valley, Calif.) $1,000
7. Jamie Macleod (New London, N.H.) $700
8. Holly Lyons (Olympic Valley, Calif.) $600
9. Michele Taggart (Truckee, Calif.) $500
10. Alisa Mokier (Mammoth, Calif.) $400