Dolozel, Burke win slopestyle in Freeway at Breckenridge
BRECKENRIDGE – The 1080 is the difference.Saturday in the Paul Mitchell American FreeSki Tour slopestyle competition at Breckenridge’s Freeway terrain park, Canadian Tom Dolozel knew he needed a switch 1080 to win. He pulled it off, and went home with the first-prize check from the $20,000 purse.”In the X Games, in the second run of qualifying, I was just trying to make a clean run, and save the 10 for finals,” Dolozel said. “But I didn’t make the finals, so I knew I had to do it this time.”
Dolozel’s 1080 was sandwiched by an unnatural 540 with a mute grab and a switch rodeo 900.There was a difference of opinion between many of the skiers over what kind of run should get a higher score. Most of the top finishers felt they had to go as big as possible, while others, including Breckenridge skier Clay Bryant, felt style was more important.Bryant hit the third and biggest jump on the course with a switch zero turn, hoping the judges would reward his creativity. They didn’t, and Bryant finished 22nd.”It seems that every ski contest turns into a spinning contest,” Bryant said. “I was trying to do something different to catch people’s eyes.”Vail’s John Spriggs finished second, earning a ticket to the Winter Gravity Games, like Dolozel. The Gravity Games will be held at Copper March 3-6.Andreas Hatveit of Norway took advantage of plenty of practice time to put together a third-place run.Hatveit used the Breckenridge terrain park as a home base over the last month to work on his skiing. The 18-year-old Norwegian went to Aspen last week as a spectator.
“Those guys are a lot better than me,” Hatveit said, despite finishing ahead of perennial X Gamer Peter Olenick, who placed fifth Saturday. On the girls side, Sarah Burke topped the three-skier field. Burke wasn’t pleased with her performance, but her attitude changed quickly when her name was called and she headed to the top of the podium.”I wasn’t expecting to win at all, so I’m super psyched,” Burke said. “I wasn’t really feeling it, but luckily I still managed to pull it out.”Second-place finisher Shidasha Holmstead of Salt Lake City, Utah, was impressed with Burke’s run.”Sarah (Burke) did an amazing switch five off that second jump,” Holmstead said. “That’s something none of the girls are doing.”Burke finished second in the inaugural Winter X Games women’s superpipe competition on Monday. As one of the biggest names in freeskiing, Burke knows she’s a pioneer, but doesn’t feel she has to represent her sport every time she puts her skis on.
“I definitely used to feel like that more than I do now,” Burke said of the added pressure. “I feel like I’ve done my work for the sport, and now I just want to do it for myself.”Lisa Solberg of Copper finished third.The Paul Mitchell American FreeSki Tour continues today with the superpipe competition. Qualifying begins at 10 a.m., while the finals start around 1 p.m.Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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