ahey, Aspen dominate Freeride Series Championship | AspenTimes.com

ahey, Aspen dominate Freeride Series Championship

Aspen Times Staff Report

Aspen TV personality, restaurateur and freeskier Vince Lahey won first place in the Colorado Freeride Series Championships Sunday at Snowmass.

Lahey, who crashed hard on Gowdy’s leap for the title in the event’s debut last year, stuck a bold line through the so-called “Triple” in the Rock Island area to wrap up top honors.

Home-field advantage paid off for Lisen Gustafson, the women’s alpine division winner.

Lahey sat in the top 10 after the first run of the championship, before uncorking the line of the event: “A committed no-mistakes-or-you-die plunge through the notorious ‘Triple’ to earn the second-highest score of day two and vault into the top spot on the podium,” according to Chief of Race Tom Winter.

“Lahey was amazing,” said Jesse Berg, another race official. “He earned the win with guts, courage and an 80-foot air.”

Lahey was joined on the podium by Aspen residents Tyler Williams and Kiffor Berg. Glenwood Springs’ Billy Poole finished in the fourth spot.

In the women’s alpine event, Gustafson was closely followed by Jamie Britt and Jane Summerville.

In snowboarding action, the Aspen stranglehold was broken by Jackson Hole resident Matt Annets, followed by Crested Butte’s Danny Hartigan and Justin Addison in second and third. The women’s field was led by Jill Stoffels, followed by Onna Konicik and Jessica Frankman.

“This was one of the most hotly contested events we’ve hosted,” said Jesse Berg. “The athletes really had to push themselves to get on the podium, and while locals were able to come out on top, the fact that we saw some podium results from people outside of the Roaring Fork Valley illustrates how this event is becoming a regional showdown.”

Featuring difficult, technical lines, many which require mandatory air, Rock Island challenged the athletes to find creative lines and showcase them in front of a packed house on the High Alpine deck.

“This is one of the most spectator-friendly venues in the state,” said Winter.

An estimated 400 people were on hand for the finals.

“Everyone who made the cut and skied or rode today was outstanding,” said Winter. “These athletes are some of the best big-mountain extreme riders out there, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they make this event one of the best of its type.”

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