|BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (Dec. 15) - Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) took the top podium spots Saturday as the Chevrolet U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix kicked off at Breckenridge Resort.The event will air on NBC Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. ET and on Versus Dec. 30 at 5 p.m. ET. The tour also will be Webcast on-demand by WCSN.com. |
In the women's competition, Bleiler threw out a crippler, frontside alley-oop to a frontside 540 truck driver finishing with a backside 540 and frontside 900, earning her a score of 45.3. Reigning Grand Prix champion and 2002 Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark (Mount Snow, VT) came in second with 42.6 points. Rounding out the podium, in her first major competition since the 2006 season, was Torino Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT), who finished with a huge front nine to earn her a matching podium spot with her brother.
"It's nice to win the first contest of the season," Bleiler said. "It's always great for confidence. I've been riding the past couple of days and early season is always hard for me because it takes me a little while to get back to that level I was riding at [the end of last season]. I was able to step up today and it feels good to overcome that battle."
It was an amazing day for U.S. riders as they dominated the top three podium spots in both the men's and women's competitions. Nine countries and nearly 150 riders competed in the Grand Prix.
"I'm looking at an international field and we're stacking up. The fact that we were able to take those top spots is something that's noteworthy and also something that makes me happy," Jankowski said. "That was our goal, to not give up any of those top [podium] spots. We wanted to be the top riders here and I think all our U.S. riders proved that they are."
The excitement continued Saturday night in Breckenridge with the Paul Mitchell Progression Session featuring the Rip it Trick of the Day. Riders competed in a night "Pipestyle" exhibition, showcasing their skills in a halfpipe lined with boxes and rails.
CHEVROLET U.S. SNOWBOARDING GRAND PRIX
Breckenridge, CO - Dec. 15, 2007
1. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO, 45.3
2. Kelly Clark, Mount Snow, VT, 42.6
3. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 41.9
4. Ellery Hollingsworth, Stratton, VT, 39.4
5. Soko Yamaoka, Japan, 32.5
6. Kait Farrington, Bellevue, ID, 29.7
7. Anne Pellissier, France, 27.6
8. Elena Hight, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 26.1