Minturn’s Bidez takes women’s pipe final
Junior world champion. X Games halfpipe finalist. And now, women’s snowboard halfpipe champion at the inaugural Aspen/Snowmass Open.It’s been a pretty good three weeks for 18-year-old Minturn local Clair Bidez, who arrived at Buttermilk for Saturday’s women’s halfpipe competition still fighting jet lag from her victorious trip to Korea for junior worlds.
The internal clock was a little off, but Bidez’s riding in the superpipe used for the Winter X Games was anything but, as she ticked off two 540s in her first run to lock up her winning score of 74.67.Breckenridge rider Leslie Glenn, 25, was second with a first-run score of 62.33 and Snowmass Village local Jordan Karlinski was third with a first-run score of 52.5.Bidez was the sole competitor in Saturday’s final who had been invited to this year’s Winter X Games, where she finished fourth in the superpipe behind 2002 Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark, Japan’s Soko Yamaoka and Australia’s Torah Bright.In both of her runs in the final at Winter X, Bidez stuck a 900 – a trick she had never previously landed in competition.She planned to attempt the trick again Saturday in her second run, but caught her edge on the 540 that would have preceded the 900 attempt.Luckily, her first run stood up, Bidez said.
“This was more of a fun thing, more than anything,” said the U.S. Snowboarding team rider, before picking up her $1,000 prize check. “Since X Games, I’ve really been riding well. I had a rough start with all the Grand Prix and everything, but now I think I’ve finally found my niche. I’m just having fun with it and I’m really, really happy with my last two results.”Karlinski was also feeling the after effects from her trip to Korea, which has a nine-hour time difference. Both she and Bidez returned home Tuesday.”I haven’t gotten a real rest, and my legs are pretty tired from pretty much competing for a month straight,” she said. “I’ve been napping every afternoon for three hours, and I’m still going to bed at 8:30.”Karlinski had wanted to pull a 720 in her final run, following two 360s and a 540 in her first. But she lost speed toward the bottom of the pipe, which caused her to change her mind.Had she pulled the trick, it might have bumped her in front of Glenn, who fell on her second run.
Regardless, Karlinski was stoked to compete in the Winter X Games superpipe for the first time.”This is such a good event, especially for people like me – up-and-comers who don’t get to ride in the X Games,” she said. “Hopefully it will get more popular each year.”Glenn had similar remarks.”Riding this pipe is actually what I was most excited about for this event,” she said. “It’s probably one of the best pipes I’ve ever ridden.”Kyla Sobieralski was fourth with 45 points and Gabi Viteri of Silverthorne rounded out the five-rider field with a score of 42.33.Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is email@example.com
When asked if he is receiving any insider information on the terrain, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde — the boyfriend of Edwards’ own Mikaela Shiffrin — chuckled and replied, “You probably think so, but I actually I don’t.”