Words: Heather Hendricks
Photos: Aaron Dodds
Men's and women's superpipe finals went down Saturday afternoon in Breckenridge, Colorado for the fourth annual Winter Dew Tour Nike Open. Breckenridge's massive 602 ft superpipe was the site of heavy action as the world's best riders battled it out in front of a massive, sprawling crowd.
The women's field of six riders kicked things off early in the afternoon as sunny skies illuminated the pipe. After an uncharacteristic bobble in her first run, Kelly Clark came from behind and stomped her second run for the win. The Vermont native put down a run that included a frontside inverted 720, a cab 720, frontside 540, backside 540, frontside 900, and ended with a massive method oozing with style. Clark's run earned her a 91.25 which was just enough to bump Gretchen Bleiler out of the top spot and into second place. Rounding out the women's podium was Xuetong Cai who earned an 85.00 for her efforts.
After the contest Clark commented, “This is the longest pipe we’ve ever ridden and it makes for a progressive contest because no one’s trying to squeak all of their tricks in. "There’s plenty of room to do every combination that you want to do. I couldn’t have had a better start to my season, I think more importantly than doing well, I’m happy with the way I’m riding.”
Over on the men's side of things, it was Shaun White who rode away with the win after stomping a massive, progressive run. White dropped into the pipe and sent a huge 27 foot backside air, a frontside double cork 900, backside 540, frontside stalefish 540, a double McTwist 1260 and ended it with an alley-oop backside rodeo which earned him a solid 95.0 Rumor has it that this was only White's fourth day on hill this season, making this win all the more impressive.
White was elated with the win and said "I’m so happy to put that run down and make it count, get the win and start the season off right." White was pumped on the size of Breck's pipe and said, “I’m blown away by Breckenridge delivering such an amazing pipe. It’s one of the best I’ve ever ridden.”
Coming in a close second was Louie Vito who stomped a super techincal run that went like this, double crippler, Michalchuk, front double 10, cab double 10, front 12 and finished with a back 5. Vito's run was smooth and stylish, but lacked the amplitude that White had.
Rounding out the podium was Iouri Podlachikov who rallied from a brutal fall in his first run and came back to stomp his second. IPOD's first run was easily the best run of the whole comp, until his last hit, where he landed super low and slammed his face on the bottom of the pipe. IPOD smacked his noggin so hard that his goggle broke, and he rose up with a bloody nose. When asked about his second run, IPOD said, “I was just all in. I had nothing to lose. My face was hurting. My nose, I can slowly feel it again, but that first run was like the best run of my life.”
It was a super action-packed day at the Winter Dew Tour Nike Open in Breckenridge, Colorado and the fun continues tomorrow with men's and women's slope finals.
Men’s Snowboard Superpipe Final Results
1. Shaun White, Carlsbad, Calif., 95.00.
2. Louie Vito, Bellefontaine, Ohio, 92.75.
3. Iouri Podlachikov, Switzerland, 90.00.
4.. Christian Haller, Switzerland, 88.00.
5. Kohei Kudo, Japan, 86.00.
6. Matt Ladley, Steamboat Spring, Colo., 84.00.
7. Steve Fisher, Breckenridge, Colo., 79.75.
8. Keito Kumazaki, Japan, 55.75.
9. Kazuhiro Kokubo, Japan, 47.75.
10. Scott Lago, Seabrook, N.H., 40.00.
11. Luke Mitrani, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 24.25.
12. Danny Davis,Highland, Mich., 18.25.
Women’s Snowboard Superpipe Final Results
1. Kelly Clark, West Dover, Vt., 91.25.
2. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, Colo., 90.25.
3. Xuetong Cai, China, 85.00.
4. Maddy Schaffrick, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 80.00.
5. Kaitlyn Farrington, Sun Valley, Id., 70.00.
6. Queralt Castellet, Spain, 54.50.
Words: Heather Hendricks