The weather gods smiled on Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Friday morning, blessing the ladies with the first sunny sky seen in a competition at 2011 Winter X Europe. In what appears to be either a French tradition, or maybe even a European one, spectators armed with wine and baguettes lined the hill next to the slope course to cheer on one of the most exciting women's slopestyle competitions we've seen in a long time.
We counted five 720s and one backside 9 in Friday's comp. Silver medal winner Silje Norendal's 720 was a frontside rodeo, clean and, if I may editorialize for a bit here, awesome. Bronze medalist Enni Rukajärvi pulled a cab 7.
Defending gold medalist Jenny Jones also pulled a front 7, but she came into the comp with an injury sustained in practice at the U.S. Open last week and couldn't quite hold it together for an entire run. She came in eighth place, but her British fan base at the bottom of the course didn't care. On the applause meter, she scored gold.
In the end it was the ever-stylish Jamie Anderson who came out on top. Anderson's run didn't include a 720, but it did include a super solid line through the jib section and what is now becoming her trademark trick: the switch backside 540. In the end, it's her style and consistency through the slope course that puts her at the top of the podium again and again. She just looks comfortable. It's a pleasure to watch.
"The riding today was so great. The girls were all riding so good," said Anderson. "I was so stoked it really inspired me. I wanted to do some bigger runs but unfortunately I couldn't get my back 5 down, but I landed my mellower run first and it ended up scoring well, so I think maybe just having clean style all the way through is what worked for me today. I'm tired, I'm excited to go rest from contests for a little bit."
Check out the complete Women's Snowboard Slopestyle results.