Nick Goepper Wins Winter Dew Tour Slopestyle; Wallisch Takes Dew Cup
Well, the Wallisch win streak is finally over. Sort of. Today, as the foggy and snowy weather descended upon Snowbasin, the slopestyle duel was on between Tom Wallisch and Nick Goepper. But when push came to shove, it was Nick Goepper who took the win today, while Wallisch's second place was good enough for him to still take the slopestyle Dew Cup. Bobby Brown rounded out the podium in third place, taking his second podium of the year.
Nick's road to the top was paved with technical rails and massive jumps, as he completed the Dew Tour podium cycle today (a first, second and third, this year). Nick kicked things off with 450 on, back 270 off the flat-down box. Then he Super-Fed'd the up-down rail (front switch up to back 450) and closed out the rails with a switch 270 to misty 450 off the cannon box. Nick then put down a switch left double cork 1080 to switch double cork 1440. On the landing, Nick came very close to the edge of the landing, but his air awareness kept him safe.
Andreas Håtveit warming up with a 900.
Tom Wallisch, who had his three-event win streak on the line, was picture perfect as usual. He dropped a switch 270, pretzel 270 on the down rail to front swap to back 450 on the up-down rail, to switch on, pretzel 450 off the cannon rail. His switch double cork 1080 to switch right double cork 1080 were immaculate, but not enough to knock Goepper off the podium. Bobby Brown, who was sitting off the podium prior to his second run, utilized a right double cork 1260 to switch double cork 1440, to get in the winner's circle.
Tom Wallisch, switch right double cork 1080
Chris Laker, who was knocked off the podium by young Brown, put an inspired run down that included a right double cork 1260 to switch double cork 1260. Russ Henshaw, who was getting some nice ribbing from announcer Colby West for crashing on the first rail, put it together on his second run, with his perfect left double cork 1080 to right double cork 1260. We don't have exact stats, but Russ Henshaw seems to be stacking fifth place finishes in his distinguished slopestyle career.
Quebec's highest finisher was Alex Bellemare, who was one of only three people to flip off the cannon rail/box options. And on his second run, as he attempted to crack the podium, he forgot to check his speed on the last jump, taking his Kangaroo Flip to the bottom of the landing. Unfortunately he couldn't quite hold on to it. UK's James Woods snagged seventh in his first Dew Tour final, with his marquee trick being the switch double cork 1080 octograb.
Chris Laker, rightside double cork 1260
Local boy Joss Christensen (last year's second place finisher), cracked the top ten with his switch right 1080 double grab to huge switch left double cork 1080. Joss was apparently skiing through some hand pain suffered in practice, so big ups to him for being a tough guy. Norway's Andreas Håtveit snagged the ninth spot with what he called "the most technical run he's ever done." An example of this would be his 50-50 to 270 switch up to 270 out on the up-down rail. That and his switch double wobble 1260 to rightside double wobble 1260.
James Woods, switch double octograb
Rounding out the top twelve were Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, Jamieson Irvine and JF Houle. The Canadian contingent was charging hard, but couldn't keep up with the firepower of the top finishers. JF, who was competing two days after dislocating his shoulder like a mad man, messed up his nose butter 450 on the first down rail, ending his bid for any top finish.
Alex Bellemare misty 450
But more than dew trophies and a Dew Cup were awarded today, with Tom Wallisch also taking home the Toyota Athlete of the Year award, which is given to the athlete who earns the most points in one discipline throughout the tour. And with 335 points, Wallisch was that guy. "I was so happy to drop in and know I had the Dew Cup,” said Wallisch. “I was just excited to ski and have a fun run. With the Dew Cup and the Toyota Athlete of the Year, there's so much to be happy about. This season couldn't be going any better. It's been a dream come true."
Tom Wallisch and his Toyota AOTY / Dew Cup and Nick Goepper with his Dew Trophy
This now closed the book on the 2011-12 Winter Dew Tour. There have been a number of highlights thoughout the contest and Snowbasin certainly contributed its fair share. With the rest of the season to look forward to, all we can do is salute our champions and move on to the next one.
3_ Bobby Brown – 91.00
4_ Chris Laker – 90.25
5_ Russ Henshaw – 89.50
6_ Alex Bellemare – 88.00
7_ James Woods – 87.00
8_ Joss Christensen – 82.00
9_ Andreas Hatveit – 76.00
10_ Alex Beaulieu-Marchand – 70.00
11_ Jamieson Irvine – 69.00
12_ JF Houle – 13.00
Men's Dew Cup Final Standings:
1_ Tom Wallisch – 335
2_ Nick Goepper – 322
3_ Bobby Brown – 281
4_ Russ Henshaw – 244
5_ Andreas Hatveit – 196
6_ Chris Laker – 184
7_ Joss Christensen – 171
8_ Alexis Godbout – 147
9_ Alex Bellemare – 141
10_ Jamieson Irvine – 139
What does this mean for the race for the AFP Slopestyle title? Well, the top 10 remain largely unchanged, with mostly some jockeying for position going on. Nick Goepper retains the number one spot, and he'll look to improve his lead at Euro X. Tom Wallisch jumps to number two and he has an event in hand, which will likely boost him over Goepper. Bobby Brown has jumped from sixth to third, mostly because he was two events down going into Snowbasin. Fourth belongs to Gus Kenworthy, who also retains his Overall Rankings lead. Rounding out the top five is Russ Henshaw.
Notables are Joss Christensen who jumped up from 12th to 10th this week. Chris Laker retains his top ten standing, sitting in ninth. Jossi Wells fell from fourth to eigth this week, while Alex Beaulieu-Marchand and Alex Bellemare shot up from the bottom of the standings to 29th and 34th, respectively. For full information on these rankings, visit the AFP Slopestyle page.
Nick Goepper getting it warmed up.
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.