Anderson tops women’s slope field – by wide margin
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE – Before she even took her turn down the course, Jamie Anderson watched as the first three riders of the women’s slopestyle finals crashed, and crashed hard, on their first hits of the day.
Needless to say, what she saw didn’t help with the regular pre-contest jitters.
“I was so nervous,” the 19-year-old Tahoe rider said.
Once she dropped in, though, the nerves certainly didn’t show.
Anderson put together a smooth run mixed with a switch-backside 540 and a frontside 360 to break the Winter Dew Tour record for points in the event at 92 and a dominating win Sunday.
Obviously happy with the win, Anderson was a bit surprised by the score, which broke the record she previously set last season.
“I was like, ‘OK, I’ll go with that,'” said Anderson, who called her first run her “safe run” and fell on Run 2. “I just wonder what I could’ve got if I landed my second run.”
She didn’t need to find out, though, as Anderson was actually the only rider in the six-person final that finished a single run without falling.
Sarka Pancochova of the Czech Republic finished second, a long way behind Anderson at 80.25. Pancochova fell on both her runs in the finals, but rebounded well on Run 2 to still get a respectable score.
Jenny Jones of England was third with 67.5 points. She too failed to land a clean run in the finals.
Spencer O’Brien, last year’s winner at Breck and the fourth-place finisher Sunday, said a lot of the falls were due to the way riders were pushing their own limits.
“I think the level of riding was way up there, and girls were going for runs you wouldn’t normally see,” she said. “It wasn’t really our day, a lot of people fell.”
Panc felt the conditions also took a toll on the riders. In the first few days of training and qualifying, the course was fairly slow due to recent snow. But with the sun glaring over the slopes Sunday, and the cold setting in in the afternoon, the course became slick during the finals.
“Today, it was kind of hard heading into jumps,” she said. “It was hard to find the right speed, but it was pretty fun.”
Pancochova was disappointed that she didn’t land her runs, though.
“I was landing it in training. Next time, maybe I’ll win,” she said with a laugh. ” … I never had many good results. I usually do good in semifinals and qualification and then fall in the finals. So this is nice.”
Anderson, who isn’t a stranger to the tops of podiums, was just relieved to get the win.
“I’m just happy I landed my first run,” she said. “The course got pretty firm and a little sketchy as the day went on, but I’m happy.”
She added that she couldn’t let herself worry about the conditions and simply ride.
“You almost have to take it with each run and just send it and hope for the best,” she said. “One life, just go for it.”
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