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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Top contenders eliminated in Men's Ski Slope

By Megan Michelson

TIGNES, France -- Three of the top medal contenders in Men's Ski Slopestyle failed to qualify for the final round at X Games Tignes on Wednesday as snow conditions deteriorated, making it difficult for them to improve poor first-run scores. The weather also caused the Women's Slopestyle Final to be postponed until Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.

X Games Aspen 2013 podium finishers Nick Goepper, Henrik Harlaut, and James Woods failed to advance to the finals in France. Goepper, the gold medalist in Aspen, lost a ski in his first run in mid air on the second kicker. He landed the jump on one ski. On his second run, he crashed on the last jump, and failed to improve his score.

"I think it was really the weather," Goepper said. "I kind of misjudged the last jump and came up a little short on my dub 10. The weather rolled in and it got gnarly. I'm still stoked -- I'm healthy and happy."

Harlaut and Woods, silver and bronze medalists in Aspen, both stumbled in their two runs, failing to advance.

New Zealand's Jossi Wells earned the top score in the eliminations, a 91.33. Wells was an alternate for the contest and got a last-minute invite after Norway's Andreas Hatveit pulled out of the competition on Wednesday after sustaining whiplash-like symptoms during practice.

The eight skiers who will compete in Thursday's Men's Ski Slopestyle finals are Wells, Russ Henshaw, Gus Kenworthy, Tom Wallisch, Noah Morrison, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, McRae Williams and PK Hunder.

Tignes has seen stormy weather all week, with poor visibility and increasing snowfall affecting the course's speed.

When asked if Goepper would be skiing any powder this week now that he's not in the finals, he said, "I'm sure it's going to be an epic pow day tomorrow. I'm going to watch the finals and then go get me some."

Men's Ski Slopestyle Elimination - * Top 8 advance to finals

1Jossi Wells *91.33 R
2Russ Henshaw *89.33 R
3Gus Kenworthy *85.00 R
4Tom Wallisch *84.33 R
5Noah Morrison *83.66 R
6Alex Beaulieu-Marchand *82.66 R
7Mcrae Williams *78.00 R
8PK Hunder *73.33 R
9Sammy Carlson70.66 R
10Joss Christensen66.33 R
11Matt Walker64.66 R
12Willie Borm50.33 R
13David Bonneville42.00 R
14James Woods40.33 R
15Henrik Harlaut32.00 R
16Nick Goepper30.66 R