January 12, 2014, Breckenridge, Colorado (ISN) – After a weekend of weather delays and in heavy snowfall, Mike Riddle (Sherwood Park, AB) persevered and with the first run of the day had a strong enough run to fend off all but one of the other male finalists to finish second with an 85.20.
“I was fortunate to have a good start position today, starting first,” said Riddle. “With the heavy snowfall, speed was a big factor so to be able to start with the course freshly groomed and with the help of our wax tech Kenny I was pretty much able to maintain my speed through my entire run which was critical to performance today.” Many in the field struggled with speed because of the fresh snow while Mike looked almost unaffected as he started his run with a “double cork 12” and did not let up all the way through to his sixth and final trick finishing with a switch alley-oop flat 5 to seal the score and his best result of the season so far.
David Wise of the US was clearly in control posting the two highest scores of the day at 86.80 (first run) and 89.00 (second run) in the “best of two” run final. Kevin Rolland of France rounded out the top three on the strength of the final run of the day with a score of 82.00.
Vernon, B.C.’s Justin Dorey, winner of last weekend’s event in Calgary scored 76.40 points to take 6th place however based on his results through the earlier part of the season he sealed the title of FIS World Cup Champion for the 2013/14 season. Mike Riddle also took home season honors finishing 3rd in the FIS World Cup Halfpipe standings.
Other finishers in today’s final were Whistler B.C.’s Simon D’Artois who took 7th place with a score of 74.40 and Noah Bowman of Calgary who finished 9th with a score of 72.00 in the 16-person final.
There were no Canadian women in today’s final as both Keltie Hansen (Edmonton, AB) and Megan Gunning (Calgary, AB) were eliminated in the qualifications held on Thursday. Keltie finished 12th and Megan 9th putting both of the girls outside of the top 8 which advanced to today’s final.
“I’m really happy that the team was able to stay focused and perform as well as they did given the very challenging weather and changes in schedule over the week,” said Head Halfpipe Coach, Trennon Paynter. “It’s great to see Mike back on the podium after an injury and missing last weekend’s event in Calgary, and to see Justin and Mike finish 1st and 3rd for the season,” added Paynter, summarizing this week’s event for his team.
The Halfpipe and Slopestyle athletes move to Park City, Utah for an event next week while the Mogul and Aerial athletes continue in Lake Placid, NY and Val St-Côme, QC, all of which are part of the final week of the qualifying process for the Sochi Games.