Freeskier Mike Riddle first at Copper Grand Prix 

Roz G second in women’s event

click to enlarge BY ANDREW MITCHELL - UP HIGH Mike Riddle takes to the air during a training camp in Whistler last week.
  • By Andrew Mitchell
  • UP HIGH Mike Riddle takes to the air during a training camp in Whistler last week.

Canadian freeskier Mike Riddle kept his podium streak alive with a convincing win at the Copper Mountain Grand Prix in Colorado on Friday, posting the top first run of the day and then bumping up the difficulty level on his second run to best his own first score.

Teammate Roasalind Groenewoud improved on her bronze medal performance at the Dew Cup in Breckenridge in December with a silver medal, making it a two-podium day for Canada.

Instead of medals, the podium finishers were presented with custom Taylor acoustic guitars with bronze, silver or gold trim.

It was a windy day for jumpers, but Riddle was on his game from start to finish, besting his first run score by a full point in his second run with a run that included a switch double corked 1260 up top- two flips and three-and-a-half rotations while holding a mute grab - and a pair of switch tricks at the bottom including a switch 900.

Young gun Aaron Blunck earned a silver guitar with his score of 87.0, followed by American David Wise with an 83.6.

"I didn't land my runs clean in qualifications so I was very lucky to get into finals as the last guy," said Riddle, "Today in the conditions I was just trying to put down as clean a run as possible and it worked out for me, I've been dong this run a lot and so I'm really confident with it."

Maintaining speed was an issue with high winds blowing snow into the pipe all day, making hard for skier to keep their speed.

Riddle credited ski tech Kenny Nault for keeping his skis running fast in the conditions. "He's the world's best ski tech and so today our team definitely had the fastest running skis out there," he said.

Matt Margetts also made the finals for Canada after leading the qualifiers, but had trouble up top on both of his runs in the finals to place 10th.

Other Canadians include Noah Bowman in 17th, Kristopher Atkinson in 27th and Simon D'Artois and Justin Dorey in 54th and 65th. Dorey, who won the opening event at Breckenridge, injured his shoulder in that contest and wasn't able to take part in a training camp in Whistler last week. He crashed on his first jump in both qualifier runs.

Groenewoud started her day in third and held the lead for a while in the second run until she was bested by American Maddie Bowman. Bowman went on to finish first with an 84.6, followed by Groenewoud with a 79.2 and Brit Sigourney of the U.S. with a 79.0. Megan Gunning was fifth while Cassie Sharpe was 12th. Keltie Hansen was 14th and Dania Assaly broke her collarbone in training and wasn't able to compete.

Groenewoud had the biggest airs of the day, but struggled with the conditions and wasn't able to get above the lip on her last few tricks.

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