Winter Park Resort’s Freeride Fest holds Slopestyle finals

Canadian Paul Genovese flips upside down while traversing a gap during slopestyle competition at Winter Park Resort’s Freeride Festival Sunday.
Lance Maggart / Sky-Hi News

A soggy Saturday dampened the action at the Winter Park Freeride Festival this weekend but the crop of international riders got back into action Sunday under a mostly cloudless Colorado sky.

Winter Park has been busy over the past few days hosting the Freeride Festival, one of the biggest annual summer events for the high Rockies resort facility. Saturday was scheduled for much of the event proceedings but wet high country weather threw a wrench into the plan and event organizers were forced to postpone the main event for the Freeride Festival, the Slopestyle Finals, until Sunday.

Early Sunday morning riders from throughout the world were preparing for the competition runs and making last minute adjustments to the riding strategies. Czech slopestyle rider Jakub Venzl has been riding at the elite professional level for almost a decade. The 27-year-old, who jokingly referred to himself as a veteran, was happy be competing again in Winter Park this year.

“It was pretty rough in the beginning,” Venzl said. “I am kind of fighting with the elevation, the same as every year.”

Venzl added he was fighting jet lag as well but added he was slowly putting his run together in preparation for the Sunday finals.

“In the finals you have to risk a little bit,” he said. “You just have to hope for the best. Hopefully I will pull my run off.”

Venzl said the Freeride Fest’s slopestyle course was a good course but noted the rain from Saturday had slowed him and other riders down.

“It was a little slow this morning, but it has been getting faster and faster as it is drying up.”

Venzl finished fourth overall in the Maxxis Slopestyle Finals with a score of 84. The top three finishers in slopestyle were Nicholi Rogatkin with a score of 91, Josh Hult with an 89, and Max Fredriksson with an 87.3.

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