WALLISCH, WELLS AND BURKE WIN AT SNOWBASIN
Winter Dew Tour Stop Number Two Wraps Up At Snowbasin, Utah
Words: Sam Pelletier
Photos: Derek Taylor
The second stop of the 2009-10 Winter Dew Tour rolled through Snowbasin, Utah, this past weekend, where three favorites for each discipline each came out on top in high-flying form. Sunny skies and warm temps brought huge crowds to Snowbasin, as it played host to its first major park and pipe events in resort history. On Saturday, the Men's Superpipe finals went to Kiwi Jossi Wells, who sits in first place in the overall Superpipe standings, while Utah local Tom Wallisch took Sunday's Men's Slopestyle. As for the ladies, perennial pipe powerhouse Sarah Burke beat out Jen Hudak to win the Women's Superpipe finals.
A pre-qualified Jossi Wells took pipe gold on Saturday with his flawless first run that included the must-have double flip and a huge alley-oop flatspin, earning his second podium in as many events. Following closely in second was Simon Dumont, who threw down two solid runs but couldn't best Wells' first-run high score. The top riders all threw double flips, but third-place finisher Peter Olenick was the only one performing a variation with his huge double flatspin.
Canadian Mike Riddle, the Superpipe winner at the first Winter Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, couldn't produce a clean run, finishing in a distant tenth. He wasn't the only competitor struggling to stay on his feet though--only four skiers produced back-to-back clean runs in the finals.
As for Sunday's Slopestyle, it proved just how deep the talent pool has become. All twelve finalists killed it, with huge scores all around. But ultimately, the judges were most impressed by Tom Wallisch, who stomped everything including a huge switch double cork 1080.
Rounding out the podium was Andreas Htveit in second and Bobby Brown in third. Wallisch and Htveit were the last two skiers to come down with neither sitting in the top three going into their runs. Wallisch threw down a huge score to go into first place with only Htveit left, and he also came up big and finished second. "I didn't really feel any pressure after seeing Tom's score, but I knew if I stepped it up on the rails I could crack the top three," said the Norwegian Hatveit.
Burke, 27, of Squamish, B.C., came out on top for the Women's Superpipe courtesy of her second-run score that included a 900 into a 540 and closing with a 720.
As a former host to the Winter Olympics, Snowbasin proved it can take on park and pipe events too. Bobby Brown raved about the slopestyle course, remarking that it was "one of the best I've skied."
After two stops, Jossi Wells leads the Dew Tour in Superpipe with 190 points, Simon Dumont takes the second spot with 155 points, and ranked third with 150 points is Xavier Bertoni of France.
Tom Wallisch and Andreas Htveit share the lead in the Slopestyle rankings with 190 points each, with Sammy Carlson and Bobby Brown tied for third with 155 points each.
The Winter Dew Tour heads to Mount Snow, Vermont, February 4-7 for the Toyota Championships.