I've always wanted to go to Vail, CO for the summer mountain games and this year I was finally able to make it out. The course always looks like a ton of fun to ride and it seems to always have a great vibe and be a fun time for all the riders. I have seen lots of videos from the festival before and there always seems to be something going on and it almost reminds me of a mini Crankworx. Vail village even looks pretty similar to whistler when you're there. All this just added to the excitement and I couldn't wait to get on my bike and start riding the course.
The course was very well laid out and a lot of fun to ride. It only took a couple of runs to start feeling comfortable and flowing through the course nicely. Every one was riding great and enjoying the sunshine. Practice was going pretty well for me, I front flipped one of the jumps and was flipping out of the start step down. I pieced my run together and was excited to get qualifiers underway and do my runs. Unfortunately qualifiers didn't go exactly as planned, my first run I ended up just coming a little to fast into the step up and lost all my speed for the step down so the run ended there. On my second run things went worse and I ended up sliding out on the second jump. I was pretty disappointed to have two silly mistakes and to miss out on finals but that's just how it goes. I didn't even know there was a best trick until after qualifiers but as soon as I heard there was I knew I wanted to make up for my less than ideal qualifying runs.
It had cooled down just enough before the best trick as the sun started to go down. I was excited and nervous waiting for it to start. I took 2 straight airs to warm up and get the feel for the jump again. On my third hit I went for it, I was getting super close on every try but just washing out on the landings. On my 6th try I finally got it and was stoked to ride away with only a minute or two left in the session. It wasn't clean and I was fumbling for the pedals but I was stoked to ride it out. The judges decided it was good enough to take the win and I was really excited to get some redemption from qualifiers.