Ambuhl continues slopestyle domination
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Seventeen-year-old Elias Ambuhl of Switzerland beat out some of the biggest names in freesking to win the preliminary round of men’s slopestyle at the Winter Dew Tour Saturday afternoon on Peak 8 in Breckenridge. Pittsburgh’s Tom Wallisch and TJ Schiller of British Columbia rounded out the top three.
“A lot of people crashed,” Ambuhl said about his triumph over a tough group of skilled skiers. “We had three hours of practice. That’s pretty long. I think they are all tired.”
“I hope it’s going to be good weather (tomorrow),” he added. “That’s the only thing: no wind, no snow.”
This is the Swiss native’s second Dew Tour. He also won the open qualifier on Thursday.
Wallisch finished two points behind Ambuhl, throwing a double cork 1080 and a switch 1080 during both runs.
“I landed everything super-clean,” he said after his second run, “and I held my grabs super-long.”
Wallisch admitted he wasn’t sure yet what he’s going to lay down for today’s final.
“I think I’m going to do the same run for the first run tomorrow,” he said.
“But then I’m going to get crazy for the second run and hopefully end up on the podium.”
Schiller had a different approach than his fellow finalists.
After trying to work on a switch, double-rodeo 900 on the first day of training, Schiller said he fell on his head and broke his helmet.
“I spent two days thinking about the trick,” he said, adding that he couldn’t even sleep. Finally, in the middle of his short, insomniac spell, Schiller said he found a video of the trick online and watched it in slow motion “about 40 times.”
“I got it dialed,” he said after his second run put him in the final. “I stomped all my tricks today.”
Schiller added, “I’ll do the same style run (for the final) but I have to work on my rail technicality. … My jumps couldn’t be better though.”
Behind fourth-place rider Philip Casabon, Norway’s Andreas Hatveit had one of the most challenging and creative runs at the prelim. He launched a switch, rightside 1080, a switch 1260 and a double cork 1080.
His plan, he said, was to go for a more technical run than the rest of the field.
“That’s the way I usually like to ride,” he added.
“I went switch, rightside 450 on, 270 out off the box,” he said. “Nobody’s doing that. It’s a very technical trick.”
He said after his second run that only he and maybe two other riders are throwing switch, rightside 1080s.
Still, the Norweigan admitted he was not fully on his game when it came to the rails.
“I missed the first day of practice,” he said, explaining that a communication mix-up betwen Dew Tour reps and his management led him to believe there was no practice that day.
“So I’m still not really into the rails,” said Hatveit. He added that he thought he would be first or second going into the final if it weren’t for his performance on lower section of the course.
For the final, he said he’s going to go for the same run on the jumps, but “cooler stuff on the rails.”
The men’s freeski slopestyle finals start today at 10:30 a.m.
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