Kevin Rolland Wins Winter Dew Tour Snowbasin Men’s Superpipe & Dew Cup
"I couldn't be more happy." —Kevin Rolland
After the women had their way with the superpipe, it was time for the men to take control. Under the welcoming hands of a sunny Utah day, Kevin Rolland walks away the definitive winner, his second Dew win of the year. With this win, he also bests Simon Dumont for ownership of the Dew Cup, pushing Dumont down to 2nd for a third year in a row. Rolland's teammate Benoit Valentin finds his way to the podium for the first time this year and Byron "Lobster Face" Wells grabs what will likely be his first of many Dew Tour podiums to come, with a 3rd place. Here are the top three runs:
Kevin Rolland – Kicking it off on the right wall, Rolland starts with a large pipe double 900 mute grab into an alley-oop 360 safety. Heading switch he drops a switch 720 into a rightside pipe double flip 900 and finishes off the run with a double cork 1260.
Benoit Valentin – Using the right wall first as well, the young Frenchman uses a pipe double 900 into an alley-oop flatpsin 360 safety. Switch 720 next into a rightside 900, closing down his run with a double cork 1260 tail grab.
Byron Wells – The Kiwi also hits the right wall first, dropping a switch 1080 tail grab first. Then he throws a large alley-oop flatpsin 540 shifty into back-to-back 900s. The last hit for the Lobster was a more than sizable 1080 tail grab.
L-R: Benoit Valentin, Kevin Rolland, Byron Wells.
Rolland, who didn't take the luxury of his victory lap, but rather put a third double flip in his run to up his second run score by another point and a half. Kevin has taken control of yet another halfpipe with his commanding run. Benoit, whose run was technical but lacked the amplitude of Rolland's was more than happy with second. Byron Wells, the only skier in the entire finals that didn't throw a double cork/flip variation, was perfect. The amplitude and landings of Byron exemplified the perfection that the judges seemed to be looking for today. You don't need doubles if you have the rest of your run on lockdown.
"Just one word, amazing." —Benoit Valentin
David Wise, as we've come to expect, went just as big as Rolland, but couldn't get the clean run he was looking for. Going down on a right 900 first run, Wise had a small bobble in the same spot his second run. But he held it together to throw back-to-back double cork 1260s, something unheard of for these riders. Skimming the deck a couple of hits was just enough to knock Wise's score down, but nonetheless he has set the bar on where he'll be taking his riding in the future. Jossi Wells crashed his first run pipe double flip, but redeemed it 2nd run, by throwing was could be the largest switch 720 of the day. Missing some of the technical bits that the top finishers had, Jossi wasn't far off from the podium today.
Fig. 4: Simon Dumont doesn't know how to do a small double flip.
Simon Dumont, who missed his first podium of the year today, was on fire in practice, but ran into a couple of troubles in finals. First run he went down on a double cork 1260 and second run he scrubbed a bit of speed coming out of his alley-oop 720, thus making his switch 720 less than perfect. While he remained on his feet, it was the perfect run that he is capable of. A note of interest, Simon's 3rd hit pipe double 900 tail grab was probably the largest air of the day [see fig. 4].
"Finally got me one of these [dew trophy]…" —Byron Wells
Thomas Krief, who has been quite the consistent rider of the year, managed a 7th place finish today. Despite having two doubles in his run (pipe double 900 and double cork 1260) Toto was missing the perfection in the grab department that the judges were looking for. Still he finished 3rd overall in the Dew Cup standings, which will pay dividends come Breckenridge next year. Matt Margetts skied valiantly, dropping a pipe double 900, right 1080 and alley-oop flatpsin 720 but lacked a tiny bit in the amplitude department, which kept him down in the 8th spot.
Kevin Rolland warms up with a flare.
Duncan Adams' signature mostly switch run didn't have quite the charm that it had over the judges last night, but 9th place isn't bad given the company he's in. The only competitor to drop a switch straight air, switch alley-oop 720 and rightside alley-oop 360, Duncan has yet again redefined what style in the pipe is. Tucker Perkins snagged the 10th spot with a double filled run (double cork 1260 and pipe double 900), but couldn't quite get the amplitude/cleanliness combo that he was searching for today.
The Lobster warms up.
And big props have to given to Mike Riddle and Justin Dorey (11th & 12th respectively) for not holding back today. Riddle put down clean runs (double cork 1260, back-to-back 900s, alley-oop flatspin 360) until his last hit where he was oh-so-close to stomping the first in-competition switch double flip 1080. He took his hits, he'll lick his wounds and he'll reload that switch double for the next event. Dorey had put down a clean run (double cork 1260, right 900, rightside alley-oop flatspin 540) until his double alley-oop flatpsin 720. Once he rotated around to 900 and once he slightly decked out, ending his bid for a Dew trophy today.
Kevin Rolland and that big cup of his. Oh, yeah, that $25,000 cup.
While it was a dogfight in the Superpipe today, Rolland has emerged victorious, something that happens with more and more frequency. He takes home the Dew Cup (and reported extra $25K) and bragging rights as the Top Dew Tour Pipe contender. We finish with two new podium finishers and saw yet another boost in the sport's technical progression. And on the bittersweet side of things, we see Simon Dumont taking 2nd in the Dew Cup standings yet again.
How will this affect the AFP Superpipe standings? Simon Dumont will likely retain his #1 spot, but will Rolland be breathing down his neck with this finish? How will current #2 guy Thomas Krief end up? Will Byron Wells or David Wise shoot up the list? Find out by visiting the AFP World Rankings list in the days to come.
Matt Margetts gets bluuuuuunted.
The Winter Dew Tour is almost at a close, with only the Superpipe ladies and gents remaining. Come back tomorrow for all the action and carnage that will take place on the Slopestyle course tomorrow morning.
Men's Final Results:
1. Kevin Rolland — 96.50
2. Benoit Valentin — 90.25
3. Byron Wells — 84.25
4. David Wise — 83.00
5. Jossi Wells — 82.00
6. Simon Dumont — 81.00
7. Thomas Krief — 80.00
8. Matt Margetts — 76.75
9. Duncan Adams — 76.00
10. Tucker Perkins — 75.25
11. Mike Riddle — 44.25
12. Justin Dorey — 38.25
Justin "Bonesaw" Dorey mid-double cork 1260. Mike Clarke filming in tow.
2. Simon Dumont, 260
3. Thomas Krief, 230
4. Justin Dorey, 196
5. David Wise, 187
T-6. Jossi Wells, 177
T-6. Matt Margetts, 177
8. Byron Wells, 167
9. Dan Marion, 166
10. Mike Riddle, 162
For all the happenings on events this weekend, check out our Weekend Competition Action Hub.
Josiah James Wells flares in the morning light.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.