X Games notes: Brett Turcotte win first snowmobile gold at X Games Aspen
Brett Turcotte made the switch from racing to freestyling a few years ago, and Thursday night the Canadian snowmobiler picked up his first gold reward for all those years of struggles and perseverance.
Turcotte, who turns 30 on Tuesday, made it to the X Games finals in the speed and style event and bested veteran Levi LaVallee of Minnesota by just 0.3 of a point to win the race, which combined points from judged tricks with a bonus for finishing first.
From 2007 to ’11, Turcotte raced snowcross at Aspen and had just one top-three finish (silver in 2008). After a three-year break from X Games, Turcotte returned as a freestyler in 2015 but finished seventh in this event after a mechanical issue.
“I just busted my butt to get here,” he said after the finals. “I’m speechless. All this time and effort and dragging the family across the world. … My whole family is here so this couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
He’s got a couple more chances to medal this weekend. He’ll compete in freestyle Friday night, then will take part in the debut of the snowbike best trick Sunday; he finished second last year in snowmobile best trick, which is not on the schedule this year.
LaVallee, 35, picked up his 12th X Games medal with the silver.
Go early, stay late?
Today’s schedule is a bit spread out with action starting early with the women’s snowboard slopestyle at 10:30 a.m., but then a seven-hour break until the next finals event.
U.S. boarder Jamie Anderson is going for her fifth gold in the X Games event (and first since 2013), and setting up to defend her Olympic gold from the 2014 Games in slopestyle’s Olympic debut. Anderson, 27, won her first X Games medal in 2006 when she was 15.
Today’s schedule includes the men’s ski slopestyle qualifier at 1 p.m. then finals in snowmobile freestyle at 5:30 and men’s snowboard big air at 8:30. The first concert of the weekend, Martin Garrix, is set for 9:30.
Cooling off: Cold before the warm
The venue was a little slushier and wet Thursday on a warm opening day as the dry winter season continues. But multiple forecasts for Friday say it will be colder before a weekend warm-up during the X Games.
The chill came in Thursday evening at Buttermilk when the wind kicked up just after the snowmobile finals but stuck around for the men’s ski superpipe finals.
Highs for today are not expect above 30 degrees and light snow was in the overnight forecast into Friday morning. Single-digit lows are predicted overnight into Saturday.
The weekend highs look to be in the mid- to upper-30s and no snow in the forecast after today.