On a mainly overcast day in Aspen, it seemed the majority of the field were struggling with the course - which, if we're being honest, wasn't particularly inspiring. After Eric Willett set down a marker with his first run, the slams just kept coming. Not from Torstein Horgmo, though, who was riding way down the gears and rarely spinning more than a 180. Granted, he isn't at full fitness, but surely someone else could have subbed for him as Darcy Sharpe did in the Big Air?
Mark McMorris - 1st, X Games Men's Slopestyle
Sebastien Toutant got his run together, "coming correct" as the commentators were (overly) fond of saying. On both rails and kickers, he was his ridiculously consistent self. The combinations of switch backside hardway 270s on and heavy triple corks made him an early favourite.
Sebastien Toutant - 2nd, X Games Men's Slopestyle
You can always rely on Sage Kotsenburg to break up any monotony, and his run had plenty of flair; ducking under one of the rails, popping a frontside 1260 off the toes and even a backside 900 off the heels. A shame, then, that he could get a full run together, and a slam onto his back during his first run was just the start of his problems.
Plenty of his fellow competitors had similar issues; thanks to the number of runs that came apart near the top of the course, this must have set a record for most methods thrown at one event. Stale Sandbech and Alek Oestreng had some good-looking stuff in their routines (the latter's backside 1260 tailgrab in particular), but neither could get near the podium. Sven Thorgren was looking great on his final attempt, but then almost overshot the landing of the first kicker. His knees gave way, as did any chance of earning a medal.
In the end it was X Games cherry-popper Mons Roisland that made it to the third step. After two sketchy runs, his third also got off to a bad start when he came off a rail early. The Norwegian kept his speed and his nerve, though, kicking into high gear on the kickers with a switch backside triple cork 1620 and frontside double cork 1440 that knocked Willett down into 4th.
Mons Roisland - 3rd, X Games Men's Slopestyle
By that time Mark was already sitting pretty, leapfrogging Seb Toots with a second run score of 92.66 courtesy of a solid rail section and back-to-back triple cork 1440s (frontside followed by backside). There might not have been as many complete runs on the day as we'd have liked to see, but there was no question that the gold was heading back to chez McMo.
So this was far from the most memorable of X Games slopestyles, and further evidence that the 'three rails, three jumps' format really needs to be retired. While still not perfect, the Laax Open setup got a lot of things right, so here's hoping that the guys at ESPN will be willing to mix it up a little next year.
1st - Mark McMorris 92.66
2nd - Sebastien Toutant 90.00
3rd - Mons Røisland 86.33
4th - Eric Willett 82.66
5th - Alek Oestreng 77.66
6th - Darcy Sharpe 60.00
7th - Ståle Sandbech 55.66
8th - Sven Thorgren 50.00
9th - Max Parrot 45.00
10th - Sage Kotsenburg 33.00
11th - Torstein Horgmo 26.66
12th - Yuki Kadono 17.33