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|Shred Show slopestyle winner Antoine Truchon.|
Monday at The Shred Show -- falling rain and a sketchy forecast may have cleared out Whistler Village, but up on Blackcomb Mountain, the show goes on. More than 30 invitees engage in a hurry-up-and-wait program as clouds roll out of the valley and blanket the alpine, window shopping for sunny breaks to throw down for TTR points and $25,000 at the Shred Show Slopestyle.
Although initially planned for two rounds for qualifiers and a two-run final, weather concerns force contest organizers to shake things up. Now, all riders will get three runs, with their single best score determining a winner. According to Ontario native and Shred Show standout Antoine Truchon, this is a good thing: "It takes the pressure of qualifying off a bit, and everyone seems to like having three runs to do their best tricks -- everyone was in the final and it made all the riders happy," he says.
|The men's slopestyle podium.|
In sharp contrast to Saturday night's big hip, only a handful of spectators linger course-side as riders disappear into the mist. Yet, despite challenging conditions, the riders are on point -- Truchon's first run, including a wide variety of rail tricks and a double cork through the three jib, three jump setup, sets the bar early; it is a run that will hold up throughout the day and earn Truchon a $15,000 payday and valuable TTR points towards the 2012-13 season. "The conditions were so rough and it was pretty challenging for every rider, trying to do the whole course, the obstacles were so close together. I'm just happy I kept my speed up and was able to link it all up." Add his win to the second place and $6,000 he took at Saturday's Big Hip and it's safe to say Truchon had a good weekend.
Two other riders who managed to keep it together were Ian Thorley, who earned $6,000 and second place, and Whistler-based underdog Logan Haubrich. For Haubrich, the third place check for $4,000 came at a good time -- immediately upon receiving it, he asked where to cash the oversized prize so he could pay his cell phone and visa bills, and break even on a season spent living hand-to-mouth. He definitely took advantage of his local knowledge, saying, "I figured the course out yesterday and was happy they ran it today, even though some people thought it should be postponed for a day. I ride the park in conditions like this a lot, so [the weather] wasn't a big issue."
With only the Mogul Duel left to go, Shred Show attendees will take an evening to recover from a weekend of heavy competition and late nights before dropping into the hot dog and (hopefully) sunshine-fueled laps through the bumps, beginning at noon on Tuesday.