The inaugural men and women’s Dew Tour Adaptive Snowboard Banked Slalom stayed on course and went off without a hitch mid-day Friday on the first day of competition at the 2016 Dew Tour. As the first official event of this year’s Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado, Adaptive Action Sports and Toyota created a challenging banked run that proved an even tougher test as snow fell throughout the finals.
“To do the inaugural event was an honor! It was cool to kick stuff off and hopefully to see it grow from here,” said Mike Minor, who took third in the men’s division. “The snow conditions where great! Pretty snowy… but good.”
Adaptive athletes from all over came to compete in the major platform event. Evan Strong, from Hawaii, started adaptive racing soon after losing his leg when he was hit on his motorcycle by a drunk driver. Finishing up second on the day for the men’s division, “I have been an observer here for the last four years watching slopestyle, rail jams, and the superpipe… so it is pretty cool to be able to be a participant in the event!”
All of the athletes were surprised when Terje Haakonsen dropped in on the course during practice the day before. It was pretty intense to watch him take the course on.” said Minor, who trailed right behind the living legend through the run. Although he didn’t give any pointers, the athletes said just watching was enough.
Amy Purdy, Adaptive Action Sports founder and decorated adaptive snowboarder, could not stress how stoked she was to bring the event to the 2016 Dew Tour. She cemented how the athletes competing train as hard, if not harder, than everyone else and now have the stage to show that.
Coming strong out of the gate for the women in the finals was Bibian Mentel, who laid down her fastest run on her first attempt which held throughout the field. First is nothing new for the Dutch Paralympian that won gold in the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, and now she has more hardware to take home. Lisa Bunschoten finished under a second later and took home silver. Brenna Huckaby rounded out the women’s podium with bronze and an impressive time posted through the banks, berms, and tables.
The men’s podium was topped with Mike Shea at first place. He was the only one on the day to break the 40 second mark (39.93) and all the riders/onlookers were stoked! Evan Strong and Mike Minor took home second and third respectively with times of 40.05 and 40.23. The 2016 Dew Tour is definitely showing where snowboarding can still grow, and by the hoots and hollers in the rider corral, it is definitely on its way.