Canada’s Sebastien Toutant made a big impact in his rookie Winter X Games appearance on Friday, earning the highest score ever recorded in a WXG Slopestyle event and pocketing a medal in the Big Air competition. Elsewhere on the mountain, Simon Dumont returned to the podium in SuperPipe, and Daron Rahlves and Tomas Kraus delivered top-ten qualifying times in Skier X.
Top Notes from Friday at Winter XG
- Seb Toots topped the Slopestyle Elimination round with a score of 97
- Simon Dumont earned a bronze in SuperPipe, his eighth WXG medal
- Seb earned a silver medal in Snowboard Big Air
- Daron Rahlves and Tomas Kraus qualified 8th and 9th in Skier X
Drama for Dumont
Simon came out swinging in his first run of the SuperPipe Final, blasting 20 feet out of the pipe on a double flair tail grab and skiing top to bottom like a man possessed with reclaiming the grandeur of X Games gold, which he has scored twice already in SuperPipe. He was riding wide open throughout the run until his last hit, when he clipped the deck and went down hard.
As he’s proven many times in the past, even brutal hits in the pipe can’t hold him down; he skied a more calculated second run, featuring a double mute grab 1260, a rightside 900 mute grab, the double flair tail grab and an alley-oop 720 mute, ending with the switch 1080 tail grab that took him out in his first run. Simon rocketed to the top of the standings and looked to be in line for another gold medal as skier after skier couldn’t top his score.
Aspen local Torin Yater-Wallace, just 15 years old and displaying some of the same style and energy that a young Dumont was known for (and still is), proved to be a spoiler, however. He built momentum in each of his runs and eventually pushed Simon to the silver position. Defending gold medalist Kevin Rolland then pulled a banger run after botching his first two, successfully returning to the top spot on the podium.
Simon therefore earned bronze, his eighth WXG medal and his fourth halfpipe podium already this season. He’ll have another crack at a medal when he competes in Big Air on Saturday.
Seb Toots on the Loose
Winter X Games rookie Sebastien Toutant didn’t waste any time demonstrating how serious a threat he is in the competitive snowboard ranks, topping the world’s best riders in one of the most progressive and exciting Slopestyle contests to ever go down – and it wasn’t even the Final.
Seb delivered the top score in a hotly-contested Elimination round and was joined in the top three by fellow Canadian, WXG rookie and Red Bull teammate Mark McMorris. The two riders are close friends who often push each other to excel at contests, something that was plainly on display in Friday’s Slopestyle and Big Air events.
“It’s always fun to ride with Mark at contests,” says Seb. “We push each other in every practice, and in the Final we’re always challenging each other.”
I love to compete and ride with Seb; he pushes me like crazy
“Every contest we go to, it’s me and him battling it out,” adds Mark. “It’s a friendly competition, though; we’re always so stoked to see each other do good. I love to compete and ride with Seb; he pushes me like crazy.”
Mark and Seb served notice that they’re a pair to be reckoned with, with tricks like Cab double cork 900s and frontside double cork 1080s on lock. They went on to hold podium spots – Seb in first and Mark in third – in Big Air later that evening, both landing backside double cork 1260s. A last-minute landmark triple cork from Torstein Horgmo edged Mark off the podium, but if you’re going to get bumped, getting defeated by a first-in-competition trick ain’t a bad way to go.
Torstein was actually the other rider to round out the top three in Slopestyle Elimination, so it’s definitely going to be a heated contest on Sunday. Whatever happens, it’s obvious that Toutant and McMorris have announced their arrival on action sports’ biggest stage and have a lot of wins in front of them. Seb ended the day with a silver medal in Big Air, and both are sure to push each other to the Slopestyle podium on Sunday.
Saturday’s WXG Events
- Snowboard SuperPipe Women (Sarka Pancochova)
- Ski Slopestyle Men Final (Bobby Brown, Elias Ambuhl, Russ Henshaw)
- Ski Big Air (Russ Henshaw, Elias Ambuhl, Bobby Brown, Simon Dumont)
Check the broadcast schedule to catch all of the Winter X action.
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