Squaw’s Sigourney opens Visa Grand Prix tour with halfpipe win
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. – A year after barely missing the podium at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix held at Copper Mountain, U.S. Freeskiing Pro Halfpipe Team member Brita Sigourney of Squaw Valley took its top step to kick off the 2011-12 season.
Sigourney, a freestyle coach at Squaw Valley who hails from Carmel, Calif., won the first stop of the Grand Prix tour handily on Friday, earning a score of 86.60 on her second run to finish ahead of runner-up Rosalind Groenewoud of Canada, who received an 81.40 on her first run. Her winning run went 5, straight air, 9, alley-oop, straight-air, alley-oop 5, 7 to switch.
“It’s such a relief to start the season with a win – it was a surprise,” Sigourney said. “I always put so much pressure on myself and it’s just so nice to get the first competition out of the way and start the season out really nice. I try not to put any expectation on myself – I don’t ski well under pressure.
“I’m always out just to have a good time and if I win, that’s a good plus. I’m super stoked to progress and keep the season going really strong.”
Virginie Faivre of Switzerland came in third with a 77.40, while 17-year-old Maddie Bowman of South Lake Tahoe just missed the podium with a 76.00. Bowman’s fourth-place run went leftside 5, straight air mute, leftside 9, straight air, straight air, rightside 5, 7 to switch.
“I’ve only been on the snow for a week and a half. The season can’t get any better,” Bowman said.
On the men’s side, Wing Tai Barrymore (Hailey, Idaho) captured the win, Torin Yater-Wallace (Snowmass, Colo.) took second and Duncan Adams (Breckenridge, Colo.) was third to lead an American sweep of the podium.
Barrymore posted an 87.20, Yater-Wallave an 84.60 and Adams an 83.80.
France’s Xavier Bertoni, skiing with a broken left hand, managed a fourth-place finish with a 79.00, while David Wise of Reno was sixth with a high score of 75.20.
Switzerland’s Nils Lauper was the only skier to attempt back-to-back doubles on the day, and he barely missed landing the second one as his last hit during his final run.
The FIS World Cup and AFP 5Star event was the first international competition since halfpipe skiing was accepted into the 2014 Olympics last spring.
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