American slopestyle machine Chas Guldemond won a hard-fought victory at Winter X Games Europe, posting a record score in the process.
Sebastian Toutant had set the bar with a whopping 98.00, thanks to three double corks and a slightly scrappy frontside tailslide 450-out. Last year's champion Eric Willet was hoping to clear a space on the mantelpiece beside his US Open medal, but couldn't get sufficient air off the booters and placed just behind Seb Toots.
Chas had scored well with his first run, but upped the difficulty for his second in an all-or-nothing attempt to oust Seb from the top spot. His 99.33, the highest score achieved by any rider at any X Games event, was awarded for a breathtaking run which included a double backside rodeo, cab double cork 1260 and a flawless half-cab to tailpress to backside lipslide. He was visibly ecstatic as he cruised down to the awaiting crowd, and got the result he wanted.
With riders dropping three double corks at a time, and with only two runs per competitor, there was no room to be conservative. As a result, there were plenty of crashes all round. Mark McMorris had one monumental slam on his second run, and was just happy to walk away injury-free. The UK's Jamie Nicholls was looking good in practice, but his double-corks came unstuck on both runs leaving him in 18th place. He joined illustrious company down the table, as Sage Kotsenberg and Marko Grilc only managed 16th and 17th respectively.
While the cancelling of the qualifier wasn't the ideal start for the event, the final was still a classic. Seeing all 24 riders battling it out kept everybody guessing, and the medal-winning efforts are among the best slopestyle runs put down anywhere this year. Stay tuned for the video highlights.
WINTER X-GAMES EUROPE 2011
MEN'S SLOPESTYLE RESULTS
1. Chas Guldemond (USA)
2. Sebastian Toutant (CAN)
3. Eric Willett (USA)