Dew Tour Day 1: Results from men’s snowboard superpipe and ski slopestyle semis
Dew Tour schedule
9:15 a.m. — Women’s freeski superpipe final
10:15 a.m. — Women’s snowboard slopestyle final
Noon — Men’s freeski superpipe semifinal
12:15 p.m. — Men’s snowboard slopestyle semifinal
2 p.m. — Men’s freeski superpipe Last Chance Qualifier
2:30 p.m. — Men’s snowboard slopestyle LCQ
7 p.m. — Snowboard streetstyle, downtown
7:30 p.m. — Ski streetstyle, downtown
All events are held on Peak 8 at Breckenridge Resort except for the nighttime streetstyle, held near Blue River Plaza in downtown Breck. For a complete schedule, see http://www.dewtour.com.
BRECKENRIDGE — It was all about grizzled veterans and locals at Dew Tour Thursday.
On a cloudy, storm-on-the-horizon sort of afternoon, 60 of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders took to the halfpipe and slopestyle course at Peak 8 for semifinals. Between flat light, wind gusts and dizzying altitude — most of the pros arrived in town just a day or two before stepping on the snow at 10,000-plus feet — competitors were battling the elements as much as each other. And, with snowstorms in the forecast for today and Saturday, it might only get nastier.
But these guys are pros, and a little weather hardly kept them down. In the superpipe, Shaun White put on a show in his first run, boosting higher than nearly everyone else with a mix of double 1080s switch and regular. Both were easily 15 or 16 feet above the pipe deck, even when one was on his final hit.
White scored a 95.40 to take first place early. He stayed there the rest of the day, watching as 29 fellow competitors either struggled with conditions or put down equally impressive — and noticeably different — runs.
Defending Dew Tour pipe champ Taylor Gold scored a 93.40 in his first run and fell into second place behind White. His run also featured a set of double 1080s, plus a massive 900 and stylish straight airs. He might not have lofted as high as White, but he was still more than satisfied — and relieved.
“I’m stoked on it,” Gold said after his second run. “I was nervous coming into today, as always. You’ve only been on a board for a few weeks and you’re not quit sure how it’ll go.”
It was a much more relaxing start than last year, when the young Steamboat Springs native barely made it to finals with a clutch run in the last chance qualifier. All Dew Tour events have an LCQ held immediately after the semifinals, which gives athletes one more shot at making the finals. A second-place finish in semis took the weight off of Gold’s shoulders, especially when the wind kicked up in the second run.
“I saw the wind and just decided to have fun that run,” Gold said after the run, a throwaway with big, showy grabs for the crowd. “It’s kind of a nice place to be in, you know?”
Rounding out the top three was Ben Ferguson, an Oregon native who slid out on his first run and followed it with a near-perfect performance. The rest of the top-12 for Saturday’s final is eclectic: Olympian Ayumu Hirano in fourth, fellow Olympian Iouri Podladtchikov in seventh, Breckenridge local Brett Esser in eighth. Another Breck rider, Benji Farrow, just couldn’t find his footing on inverts and finished in 26th to miss the finals cut.
Also missing the cut was Danny Davis, the veritable face of Dew Tour and the company’s new project, Peace Park. Like Gold, Davis is no stranger to the LCQ and entered his third and final run confident he could make up for early mistakes. But, it wasn’t to be.
“I kind of just blew it on three runs in a row,” said Davis, who even flailed on his signature first-hit switch method. “It’s always nice to do well here, get one under your belt. Or, you don’t do well and know what to work on.”
Next door on the slopestyle course, 30 skiers duked it out on Breck’s lineup of upper jibs and four lower jumps. James Woods of Great Britain finished in first with a 90.40, just barely ahead of New Zealand’s Jossi Wells with an 89.90.
Then, in third, came hometown hero Bobby Brown. The Breck local started off shaky with a 46.20, sliding out on a few landings while he brushed off the cobwebs. But, just one run through his home park was all he needed. He came back in the second run with confident landings and huge amplitude to earn an 86.60.
The men’s final takes place Sunday at 11 a.m.
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