Words: Heather Hendricks
Photos: Aaron Dodds
The fourth and final day of the Nike Open Winter Dew Tour culminated with men's and women's slopestyle finals in Breckenridge, Colorado. As the first major slopestyle competition of the season, the riders were throwing down solid runs throughout the day, and set the bar for upcoming slope events.
The ladies kicked things off bright and early Sunday morning under blazing blue skies and warm temps. Spencer O'Brien came out of the gates charging and laid down the best two runs of the day. On her second run, the Canadian ripper stomped a frontside boardslide, frontside lipslide, backside 540 melon, switch backside 540 mute, 50-50 backside 180, switch backside 180 mute, frontside 720 indy, and a massive frontside 720 on the fourth jump. This run earned her a 90.75, which was easily enough for first place.
Burton rider, Enni Rukajarvi, who had a break-out season last year, blasted into second place after landing a run that was highly technical and clean. Sarka Panochova rounded out the ladies podium with a score of 72.0.
Defending Dew Tour champ, Jamie Anderson, was pre-qualifed for the event, but was unable to successfully land either of her runs today. On her first run, Jamie washed out on the landing of jump one. Just as her second run was shaping up to contend with O'Brien's, Anderson knuckled the last jump during her 720 attempt.
Following the contest O'Brien, said "Jamie's an amazing rider and I love to compete against her because she is so good. She pushes me so much, and she definitely comes out on top more than I do. But I'll take the wins when I can get them. It's rare for her to fall."
Following the women's event, the men took to the course and destroyed all of the massive features. It was a double-cork showdown, as rotations were (seemingly) scored higher than smooth, stylish spins.
Norwegian Gjermund Braaten was the big winner of the day, and scored a massive 97.00 on his first run which included four whopping double-corks and a flawless switch alley-oop off the wall feature. Braaten was visble stoked with his performance and commented after the event, "I knew it was a good run, but I had no idea it would be a 97."
Sebastian Toutant also threw four doubles in his run; a cab dub 9, front dub 10, back dub 10 and double backside rodeo 9, which earned a 96.0 and slotted him in second place. Following the event, Toutant said, "I think both runs were really good. It's all about the judging, you know? I'm stoked for Gjermund, it's his first Dew Tour podium, and mine too. It's a judging sport, so you never know though."
Charles Reid was also riding extremely well and posted a score of 90.0 which was enough to earn the French Canadian third place.
Sunday's slope contest was one of the heaviest to date, and it's clear that a solid arsenal of doubles is required to be in podium contention.
The fourth annual Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado is a wrap, and the action continues in Killington, Vermont next month.
Words: Heather Hendricks
Words: Heather Hendricks
Photos: Aaron Dodds
Men's and women's superpipe finals went down Saturday afternoon in Breckenridge, Colorado for the fourth annual Winter Dew Tour Nike Open. Breckenridge's massive 602 ft superpipe was the site of heavy action as the world's best riders battled it out in front of a massive, sprawling crowd.
The women's field of six riders kicked things off early in the afternoon as sunny skies illuminated the pipe. After an uncharacteristic bobble in her first run, Kelly Clark came from behind and stomped her second run for the win. The Vermont native put down a run that included a frontside inverted 720, a cab 720, frontside 540, backside 540, frontside 900, and ended with a massive method oozing with style. Clark's run earned her a 91.25 which was just enough to bump Gretchen Bleiler out of the top spot and into second place. Rounding out the women's podium was Xuetong Cai who earned an 85.00 for her efforts.
After the contest Clark commented, “This is the longest pipe we’ve ever ridden and it makes for a progressive contest because no one’s trying to squeak all of their tricks in. "There’s plenty of room to do every combination that you want to do. I couldn’t have had a better start to my season, I think more importantly than doing well, I’m happy with the way I’m riding.”
Over on the men's side of things, it was Shaun White who rode away with the win after stomping a massive, progressive run. White dropped into the pipe and sent a huge 27 foot backside air, a frontside double cork 900, backside 540, frontside stalefish 540, a double McTwist 1260 and ended it with an alley-oop backside rodeo which earned him a solid 95.0 Rumor has it that this was only White's fourth day on hill this season, making this win all the more impressive.
White was elated with the win and said "I’m so happy to put that run down and make it count, get the win and start the season off right." White was pumped on the size of Breck's pipe and said, “I’m blown away by Breckenridge delivering such an amazing pipe. It’s one of the best I’ve ever ridden.”
Coming in a close second was Louie Vito who stomped a super techincal run that went like this, double crippler, Michalchuk, front double 10, cab double 10, front 12 and finished with a back 5. Vito's run was smooth and stylish, but lacked the amplitude that White had.
Rounding out the podium was Iouri Podlachikov who rallied from a brutal fall in his first run and came back to stomp his second. IPOD's first run was easily the best run of the whole comp, until his last hit, where he landed super low and slammed his face on the bottom of the pipe. IPOD smacked his noggin so hard that his goggle broke, and he rose up with a bloody nose. When asked about his second run, IPOD said, “I was just all in. I had nothing to lose. My face was hurting. My nose, I can slowly feel it again, but that first run was like the best run of my life.”
It was a super action-packed day at the Winter Dew Tour Nike Open in Breckenridge, Colorado and the fun continues tomorrow with men's and women's slope finals.
Men’s Snowboard Superpipe Final Results
1. Shaun White, Carlsbad, Calif., 95.00.
2. Louie Vito, Bellefontaine, Ohio, 92.75.
3. Iouri Podlachikov, Switzerland, 90.00.
4.. Christian Haller, Switzerland, 88.00.
5. Kohei Kudo, Japan, 86.00.
6. Matt Ladley, Steamboat Spring, Colo., 84.00.
7. Steve Fisher, Breckenridge, Colo., 79.75.
8. Keito Kumazaki, Japan, 55.75.
9. Kazuhiro Kokubo, Japan, 47.75.
10. Scott Lago, Seabrook, N.H., 40.00.
11. Luke Mitrani, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 24.25.
12. Danny Davis,Highland, Mich., 18.25.
Women’s Snowboard Superpipe Final Results
1. Kelly Clark, West Dover, Vt., 91.25.
2. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, Colo., 90.25.
3. Xuetong Cai, China, 85.00.
4. Maddy Schaffrick, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 80.00.
5. Kaitlyn Farrington, Sun Valley, Id., 70.00.
6. Queralt Castellet, Spain, 54.50.
The Winter Dew Tour will kick off its fourth season this week in Breckenridge, Colorado, December 15-18. The weekend’s events will bring the top names in snowboard superpipe and slopestyle to the mountain, while helping to celebrate Breckenridge’s 50th anniversary.Read More