grand prix at copper

first contest of the year, US grand prix at copper in colorado.
i joined up with the team down here just over a week ago, and for the most part since i've been here it's been really cold and fairly windy. it hit -40 with the windchill a few days ago during the first "official" triaing day. so pretty sweet conditions for pipe riding. yeah...
but we've gotten in there and gotten some quality riding in.
Today was the qualifiers for the comp. Tom (our coach) came walking into the house last night saying "justin i have good and bad news. you're in the 3rd heat" 'soo what's the bad news' i ask. "so is eveybody else"
generally heats are split and radonized according to your fis points so in theory it evens the heats out. but it never really works out that way. There's always an easy heat and a hard heat. My heat today was the hard heat. it consisted of shaun white, louie vito, scotty lago, jj thomas, kazu kokubo, jack mitrani, greg bretz,2 really good finnish guys (janne and iika), another good japanese rider (daisuke), a couple more ripping american kids, dustin craven, and myself to name a few..
there was a few jokes around the house about my luck to be in that heat. heat lists never really bother me but when they were only taking 4 people out of a heat... it starts being a little tougher. so 3 heats, 4 people from each, then the next 4 overall scores to make a 16 person final.

So today, i finally started riding at what i consider a somewhat normal level for me. I had some timing issues on a few tricks the last few days so I was lagging a bit on where i wanted to be at. But today felt pretty good.
My first run went decent i guess. had planned to drop into a switch back 540 to start, cab 9, switch japan, haakon, frontside 9 and a back 9.
I almost decked out the cab 9 (pipe was a little undervert today; 7 people got injured and had to be carted off my patrol. not good). then hit a fairly undervert section where i wanted to do the front 9 and had to settle for a 720. which left me riding swtich again and left me to improvise on my last hit. i settled for a alley-oop switch backside 540. hadn't done one of those in about a year i think. felt good on the take off, came around nicely but i landed a little flat and on my heels. i ended up hooking my heel edge across the flatbottom, dragging a hand and essentially tripoding across the flat. little better than flat out falling but not by much.
too many mistakes. i got a 36.6. and with the heat i was in i needed a solid run.
and the second one wasn't going to be it either. slipped out on the cab 9, ended up at 720 and had to improvise the rest of my run and i decked out a few hits later. day over. 31st place overall i think.

shaun, louie and greg went 1,2,3 for the heat and for the overall scores. Dustin and charles reid are the only 2 canadians to have made it through to finals.

Pretty bummed. I hate not making finals. But i can't beat myself up too much. rode pretty much how i wanted to ride and it just didn't work out on the contest runs. Happens. Gonna watch finals tomorrow, then a few mre days of riding the pipe here before heading home tuesday night.
jl

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