The two-time Olympic medallist three-time World Champion had the two highest scoring runs of the day, posting a 97 point first run, and went even better in run two with a massive score of 99 from the judges. With the win guaranteed, James performed a victory lap for his third and final run, high fiving the crowd on his way down the halfpipe to the finish line.
James’ run included a switch McTwist to start, followed by a cab double cork 1440, frontside 1080, cab 900 and switch backside double cork 1260 to finish, giving James the seventh World Cup victory of his career.
“Definitely the highest score I have ever gotten in my life, and I am not going to lie, it might be one of the most satisfying runs I have ever done” said the VIS athlete.
“We worked pretty hard on the switch McTwist and I have to say I felt like I got some soul back. The progression is so rapid these days, and I am really happy to be a part of that, but I also thought that I wanted to make some new additions with some creativity, and as we say as snowboarders get the soul.”
Behind James on the podium was Swiss rider Jan Scherrer with a best run of 96.25 points and Kaishu Hirano of Japan in third with a score of 88.25.
Australian teen sensation Valentino Guseli who won his first ever World Cup event last week in big air, made a strong start in his first halfpipe event of the season qualifying for finals in second place, but had to settle for seventh in the final with his best score of 82.50 coming in his first run.
GUSELI JUST MISSES BIG AIR FINAL
Guseli had a busy week in Copper Mountain, with the NSWIS rider also taking part in the big air event.
Drawn in heat one with the top-five riders advancing to finals, Guesli just fell short placing sixth, and an overall ranking of 11th.
A big air event is scheduled to take place on January 14 in Kreischberg, Austria, which will see Olympic bronze medallist Tess Coady making her season debut with Guseli also likely to compete.
The following week the popular Laax Open takes place on January 18-21, with a World Cup slopestyle and halfpipe event in the Swiss resort.