Dew Tour Day 3: Burton rolls with the punches to win debut snowboard Team Challenge on Dec. 11
- Burton — 171.00
- Nitro — 168.00
- Ride — 157.32
- Lib Tech — 156.99
- DC — 155.00
- Salomon — 147.66
- Burton (Darcy Sharpe) — 87.00
- Nitro (Sebastien Toutant) — 86.00
- Ride (Reid Smith) — 83.66
- Lib Tech (Ted Borland) — 80.33
- DC (Jordan Morse) — 75.00
- Salomon (Jesse Paul) — 71.33
- Burton (Mark McMorris) — 84.00
- Nitro (Marcus Kleveland) — 82.00
- DC (Mons Roisland) — 80.00
- Lib Tech (Tyler Nicholson) — 76.66
- Salomon (Hans Mindnich) — 76.33
- Ride (Brandon Davis) — 73.66
BRECKENRIDGE — Dew Tour has been good to Mark McMorris and Darcy Sharpe.
Let’s start on Friday morning, when McMorris had an enormous and nearly perfect triple 1260 (as in three inversions with 3.5 rotations) to dominate the slopestyle jump finals with 95.33 — more than 15 points higher than Tyler Nicholson in second place. Later that night, Sharpe spun and pressed his way to a $5,000 grand prize at the nighttime street competition in the heart of downtown Breckenridge. Then, on Saturday morning — just a day after he turned 23 years old — McMorris wrapped a big, techy bow on his birthday slopestyle run with a score of 77.33 in the jib line to win the men’s snowboard title. Sharpe didn’t fare quite as well and missed the podium, but the duo still looked effortless on the custom jib course, with 270s both ways onto just about every feature and photo-ready tweaks on the Toyota 4 Runner in a grindable chainlink cage.
Now, the two are Team Challenge kings. On Sunday afternoon, McMorris and Sharpe showed their prowess on the slopestyle jib course to notch the highest combined score of the day, 171, and claim the inaugural Team Challenge title. Behind the Burton pros in second were the Nitro riders, Marcus Kleveland and slopestyle bronze medalist Sebastien Toutant, and in third was the Ride team, Reid Smith and Brandon Davis.
The Team Challenge didn’t look at all like the original format. When it was first announced, officials envisioned a three-part contest, with three riders in three separate contests: jibs, jumps and the superpipe. But Mother Nature had other ideas, beginning before the event even came to town when superpipe was canceled due to low snowfall. Then, on the morning of the competition — 48 hours and 13 inches of fresh powder after the first day of riding — organizers announced it was too blustery and snowy for jumping on the 65-foot hit.
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Instead, all team riders took three runs apiece through the jib course, and no one was quite sure what to expect. Would the last-minute change throw off jump specialists like Nicholson and Mons Roisland? Or would they rise to the occasion like the pro snowboarders they are? After all, the Team Challenge is all about showcasing the most well-rounded, bombproof brand in the business — jibs, jumps or whatever the conditions throw at them.
And everyone put on a show. McMorris nearly repeated his winning jib run from Saturday with pinpoint spins on and off of every feature and smooth, crisp boardslides. Sharpe had an equally smooth but noticeably different run, featuring bigger spins and better butters than McMorris, who might as well be a hawk when it comes to amplitude. He had the highest score for snowboarders with 87.
Will the Team Challenge return for a second year? Judging by the laughs and smiles and shenanigans at the base of the jib course, chances are good it’s here to stay. It gave relative unknowns like Hans Mindnich, the Snowboarder magazine 2015 Rookie of the Year, a spotlight on a national stage, all while throwing veterans like McMorris and Toutant a creative curveball. Not a bad way to welcome winter.
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