U.S. Athletes Finish Strong on Final Day of Dew Tour
It was an incredibly strong finish for U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes with 19 podiums over four days of competition, including Team Challenge and Streetstyle events, at the 2018 Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Sunday started with a U.S. Freeski Team sweep of the men’s modified superpipe podium. Alex Ferreira (Aspen, Colo.) defended his title in the Dew Tour halfpipe competition, while teammates Aaron Blunck (Crested Butte, Colo.) and David Wise (Reno, Nev.) were second and third respectively. The podiums did not stop there as Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) also defended her Dew Tour halfpipe title alongside Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.) in second-place. The day concluded with a second-place finish from Olympian Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) in his first slopestyle competition of the season.
The freeski modified halfpipe competition did not come without its challenges. There were big crashes early in the competition, which seemed to prevent the overall momentum from building as it usually does at a high-level halfpipe competition. That being said, these athletes are professionals and pushed through to put on a great show. Although there were some difficult moments throughout the competition, overall the course was well received.
“I was super excited to come to Dew Tour,” said Ferreira. “It’s creative, very unique and never been done before. To be able to ride this course, take advantage and really enjoy myself was a pleasure. It was an excellent contest and David and Aaron crushed it and I’m happy to be sharing the podium with them.”
Blunck, who fell hard on run two, claimed redemption on his final run to move into second place. As Chase Josey (Sun Valley, Idaho) and Toby Miller (Mammoth, Calif.) referenced after Saturday’s snowboard modified superpipe final, carrying energy from last week’s Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain was crucial.
“The momentum coming off last week was awesome,” said Blunck. ‘It gave me a lot of confidence coming into this week. I have been hyped-up for this event since I heard it was going to be modified pipe. It adds creativity and changes things up quite a bit.”
Blunck and Wise certainly did not come out of the blue, linking together two podiums in two weeks adding to their success from the first halfpipe event of the year. Wise also felt there was something more than momentum at play when referring to the all American sweep.
“I get asked often why the American halfpipe team is so strong and I believe that’s because we have that rebel spirit,” said Wise. “We are here to do things differently than everyone else. I think that's why we had such a strong showing in the modified pipe. I don’t think anyone was excited for this format as the American skiers and riders coming into this event.”
The modified superpipe stayed hot as the women’s snowboard competition immediately followed. Although Kim was still a favorite, some skeptical fans thought the slopestyle inspired features being incorporated into the Dew Tour modified superipe would be the great equalizer. These individuals were quickly be proved wrong as Kim’s well-rounded skill set was very apparent after only one run when she soared more than 10 points ahead of the rest of the field.
“I love it, I had so much fun,” said Kim referring to the modified features of the halfpipe. “It’s like a playground and it’s great to be able to mix it up and try different things. The first couple days were tougher for all of us as we tried to figure out our lines and speed, but it was a cool process. It was fun to push ourselves as we’ve never really done anything like this.”
Although Kim’s early success was very clear as she was yet again in a position to take a victory lap. But she’s always one to push the sport to the next level, so she put down a more difficult run, incorporating her first 1080 in a competition of the season to close out the day. Still, she has no desire to compete in slopestyle.
“Have you seen the slopestyle girls,” she said. “I do not want to do that. They are so gnarly and amazing, so I’m going to just stick to the pipe. (Austria’s) Anna Gasser has a triple and almost all the girls have doubles. I think I’m going to stay in the halfpipe and watch the slope girls from the other side of the fence.”
Mastro, with a throwaway crash score on her first run, needed something big. Coming into her second run she started with a stylish and difficult backside 180 seatbelt grab and finished her run with a beautiful crowd-pleasing method. The run would put her in third place behind veteran Queralt Castellet of Spain. On Mastro’s third run she added technicality to increase her score and jumped into second-place ahead of Castellet.
“For a while, I kind of felt like I had the Dew Tour curse,” said Mastro. “Where just every Dew Tour would not go the way I wanted, so it was very nice to break that streak this year.”
Mastro was also a big fan of the modified superpipe. “I think the modified pipe is an amazing thing for women’s snowboarding,” she said. “We get to be creative and hit spines out of the pipe and really challenge ourselves. I would love to see more contests like this.”
Referring to watching Mastro and Kim progress, third-place finisher Castellet said: “It’s been really amazing. For me it's like a movie. It starts with them young and full of energy, then you get to see the evolution of their riding. It’s a pleasure to be able to share this time with them and also get inspired by what they are able to do.”
To close out the week at Dew Tour, the snowboard slopestyle competition began with a very impressive jumps competition riddled with 1440s, 1620’s and triple corks. Summit County locals Red Gerard (Silverthorne, Colo.) and Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) came out of the gate with strong first runs, but would quickly find out this competition was no walk in the park. Corning would finish fourth on the jumps section with Japanese riders Takeru Otsuka and Yuki Kadono in first and second, and Norwegian Stale Sandbeck in third.
Corning’s solid rail line put him in second in the rails portion and second overall in the slopestyle competition. Corning also finished second in the 2017 Dew Tour Olympic qualifying slopestyle competition where he secured his nomination to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. Norwegians Stale Sandbech won the event and Mons Roisland finished third.
Men’s freeski modified superpipe
1. Alex Ferreira: switch right 5 Japan, left dub 12 mute, right double 12 mute, left 9 tail, right flat 3 Japan to shifty, right 3 safety.
2. Aaron Blunck: switch left 7 mute, switch 3 in, switch left double 9 Japan, switch right 7 Japan, left double 9 safety, right 7 tail, right 270 safety
3. David wise: switch left misty 9 tindy, switch right 7 Japan, left double 12 mute, right 9 tail, right alley oop 7, left cork 7 tail
Women’s snowboard modified superpipe
1. Chloe Kim: back 540 indy, switch front 900 melon, switch back 360 indy, indy McTwist, frontside 360 indy, massive frontside air
2. Maddie Mastro: back 180 seatbelt, Haakon flip stale, front 900 tucknee, back air, back alley-oop 270 stale, backside air
3. Queralt Castellet: front 360 indy, back 540 mute, front 900 melon, method, backside 720 reverting at the bottom
Men’s snowboard slopestyle
1. Takeru Otsuka: frontside 1440 tail, backside triple 1620 melon, cab triple frontside 1440 mute
2. Yuki Kadono: cab 1440 mute, switch backside 1260 stale, backside triple cork 1440 mute
3. Stale Sandbech: frontside 1440 tail, backside 1260 mute, cab 1440 stale
1. Mons Roisland: cab 180 tail tap switchup to noseslide pretzel 270, switch backside 270 on to 270 out, cab hardway backside lipslide, boardslide 630 Rippey underflip
2. Chris Corning: switch boardslide to 50-50 frontside 360, backside 360 on frontside 180 out, gap frontside 270 to down, 50-50 backside rodeo melon.
3. Stale Sandbech: cab 180 frontside cab 270, backside 180 switch 180, cab hardway 270 on, 50-50 transfer boardslide pretzel 270 off
Stale Sandbech - 181.33
Chris Corning - 180.00
Mons Roisland - 179.33
HOW TO WATCH
*Subject to change
All times in EST
Saturday, Dec. 29
4:00 p.m. - Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBC
Sunday, Dec. 30
5:00 p.m. - Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBC
Thursday, Jan. 3
11:00 p.m. - Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBCSN
Tuesday, Jan. 8
11:30 p.m. - Dew Tour Show, Breckenridge, Colo. - NBCSN