DANNY DAVIS WINS MEN’S AND GRETCHEN BLEILER WINS WOMEN’S SNOWBOARD SUPERPIPE EVENTS IN BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO
NEW YORK – December 21, 2008 – Danny Davis won the men’s superpipe finals and Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler topped the women’s field Sunday in the first stop of the Winter Dew Tour.
Davis’ winning run included a switch backside 720, a backside 900, a frontside 1080 into a cab 1080, to finish with a frontside 900. He scored 94.75.
“I’ve been riding for the summer and I was hurt last year so it’s just nice to come back and ride well and land,” Davis, of Highland, Michigan, said. “I got lucky and stayed on top so I’m stoked.”
Shaun White, of Carlsbad, Calif., was second at 93.50 and Scotty Lago of Seabrook, N.H. was third at 90.00.
White won Friday’s slopestyle event and was looking to sweep the two snowboard disciplines, but he commended Davis’s winning run.
“It was clean, it was smooth and he ended strong,” White said of Davis. “It’s nice to see that dude come through because, compared to a lot of guys, he’s overdue for some victories, for sure.”
In the women’s field, Bleiler of Aspen, Colo., took a new approach to her run by choosing not to start it off with her signature crippler trick.
“I definitely want to switch it up this season and work on my different tricks and never really have the stock run just because it’s more satisfying to switch it up,” Bleiler said.
“This pipe is great and the setup is great,” Bleiler said. “Being live on TV is huge and it’s definitely raising the profile of the sport so I’m backing it.”
Her winning run included a frontside 900 to a backside air crippler, a backside 540 to finish with a frontside 720. She finished with a score of 90.25.
Kelly Clark of West Dover, Vermont was second at 86.75 and Elena Hight of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. was third at 82.00.
In his first major career title, local freeskier Bobby Brown won the men’s slopestyle finals and veteran freeskier Tanner Hall won the men’s superpipe finals Saturday.
The seventeen-year-old Brown, of Breckenridge, drew gasps from the crowd with his progressive tricks down the slopestyle course, which included a switch misty 1080 to a switch double rodeo 900 off the jumps. He finished with a rodeo 450 off the rail.
“The day before in training I was working on that switch double rodeo and I was freaking out while I was upside down in that, and somehow I came onto my feet, so just super stoked about that,” Brown said. He finished with a score of 90.50
New Zealand’s Josiah Wells (89.50) was second, followed by Henrik Harlaut of Sweden at 85.67.
In the freeski superpipe event, Hall landed a 1080 at the bottom of the halfpipe for the first time his competitive career. His run also included back-to-back 900’s and an alley oop flatspin to score 90.75.
“It feels good to come in and lay down a really solid run and throw a trick I’ve never thrown in a comp,” Hall said. “It means a lot to come out and win and just have good momentum going into the next one. I know what I gotta work on to better my runs and I’m just stoked for Mount Snow.”
Canadian Justin Dorey (85.50) was second and sixteen-year-old Duncan Adams, of Breckenridge, Colo. was third at 81.00.
“I’m pumped to be out competing at the Winter Dew Tour,” Dorey said. “This event is the caliber of three X Games in a row. It’s just what the sport needed.”
Olympic gold medalist Shaun White won the men’s snowboard slopestyle competition and Spencer O’Brien won the women’s event on Friday.
The 22-year old White scored a 95.17 on his second run, which began with a frontside 270 at the top rail, a frontside 1080 on the first jump to a backside 900. He finished with an impressive 1260, a three and a half revolution spin, on the bottom jump.
“I knew I could do it, I just kind of believed in that spin at the end there,” White said. “I didn’t really practice it at all, but for some reason I knew I had it.”
Mikkel Bang of Norway was second at 92.33 and Janne Korpi of Finland placed third at 86.17.
White, of Carlsbad, Calif., is now the season point leader, and the first Dew Tour crossover athlete with a Dew Cup in skateboard vert from the summer series.
“I’m excited,” White said. “I’m doing all the stops so this is nice for me to start it off right.”
On the women’s side, Canadian snowboarder O’Brien won the event with a gap to boardslide to fakie, into a switch backside 780, a backside 360 and a backside 540 off the jumps to finish with a 5050 to frontside boardslide on the bottom rail. She finished with a score of 85.00.
Jenny Jones of Great Britain was second at 77.33 and Bev Vuilleumier, of Lake Tahoe, Calif was third at 74.17.
“I was really nervous coming in,” O’Brien said. “It was a lot bigger than I expected seeing it’s the first contest of the year. But all the girls took to it really well. The course was just amazingly built and it was so much fun so once I got over my fear it was awesome.”
Similar to the Dew Tour’s summer competition structure, the Winter Dew Tour is based on a cumulative points system as the top snow athletes battle it out for a piece of the $1.5 million prize purse and the chance to take home the Dew Cup at the conclusion of the season in February.
The four-day competition is the first of three stops of the Winter Dew Tour which features men’s and women’s freeskiing and snowboarding disciplines. Just over 17,000 fans enjoyed the Winter Dew Tour experience at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado. The tour will visit Mount Snow Resort in Vermont in January and conclude in February at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in California.