The Road to the Dew Cup: Snowbasin Dew Tour [update]
With two Winter Dew Tour stops, the X Games and the FIS World Champs in the rear view mirror, sights are starting to be set on the final stop of the Winter Dew Tour at Snowbasin, UT. This will be the site of the Toyota Championships and the final stop to determine the Dew Cup winners, as well as various other awards from Alli, in addition to some valuable high-octane AFP points.
In addition the regulars on the tour, there is a Last Chance Qualifier being held at Snowbasin. The first time this has been done at the Winter Dew Tour, this offers an extra chance for guys to make prelims. You never know, TJ Schiller and Alex Schlopy have both won X Games gold medals in the past from alternate spots, so some similar magic could be seen on the slopes of Snowbasin. Full list of confirmed LCQ riders below.
Here is a recap of what has gone down so far:
The big story in Breckenridge — after all the qualifiers and all the bad weather — was seeing Alexis Godbout emerge victorious on the slopestyle course. Seeing Salomon teammates Bobby Brown and Sammy Carlson was no surprise (they finished 2nd and 4th in the 2009/10 Dew Cup, respectively, well ahead of Godbout's 5th), but no one seriously pinned Godbout to take the bacon.
But after Alexis fell prey to a minor knee injury knocking him out of Killington, it opened the door for Bobby Brown. After winning the frigid stop in Vermont, Bobby has a clear cut path to the Dew Cup. Elias Ambühl currently sits in 2nd overall after a second place performance in Killington, while Alexis hangs back in third overall, still in contention for the title. Russ Henshaw, hot off his silver at X and bronze at World Champs will be a threat to take the cup, just two points shy of Godbout in fourth place.
If Brown can podium in Utah, the Cup will almost certainly be his. But if doesn't, will that open a lane for someone else? With last year's Dew Cup winner Andreas Håtveit and 2nd place finisher Tom Wallisch all but out of the hunt, this is Brown's cup to lose. Will the course be bigger than last year's, lending to Bobby's strengths? Or will it be tech and tight, lending itself more towards Godbout or JF Houle's style?
For full Slopestyle Dew Cup standings, click here.
It was no surprise that Simon Dumont took the top spot at Breck and certainly no surprise that Kevin Rolland finished on top in Killington. With identical finishes this year, the duo go into Snowbasin tied for the Dew Cup, with über-consistent Thomas Krief (4th and 5th place finishes this year) holding down that 3rd spot in the Dew Cup race. Justin Dorey is a little bit back in 4th place (thanks to his 2nd place performance in Breckenridge). Dan Marion sits in 5th position, but given the consistency of the top three guys and the amount of points behind he is (59 points), Dan's run for the Cup is pretty much out of the question. Youngster Gus Kenworthy and even younger Torin "Tater Tot" Yater-Wallace have the ability to podium (as demonstrated this year) and therefore throw a wrench into anyone's game. They might not be able to dethrone Rolland or Dumont, but they could potentially crack the top 3 overall, an enviable place to be at the start of next year's Dew.
It basically comes down to Kevin vs. Simon. Whoever does better (and they are both likely to be on that podium), will take home the Cup and the cash and prestige along with it. With the 2009 and 2010 Cup Winners out (Tanner Hall and Jossi Wells), will Simon finally take the cake, or will he end in 2nd place for a third year in a row? And don't forget Justin Dorey, who is in the running. Very capable of extraordinary performances, Bone-saw could take home his first Cup. Mike Riddle may be out of contention for the Cup, but after a convincing win at last weekend's World Champs, Riddle looks to be back in early season form.
For full Superpipe Dew Cup standings, click here.
Killington Superpipe Finals
While they aren't eligible for a Dew Cup (the women's skiers only competed in Breckenridge, and it's fair to assume you need more than two stops to create a tour) there is still a podium, cash and accolades up for grabs.
All four women's slopestyle events this year have had different winners, Ashley Battersby at Breck Dew, Devin Logan at the Northstar TNF PPO, Kaya Turski at X Games and Anna Segal at the FIS World Champs. This is testament to the depth and talent in the women's field. It's really anyone's game. Will Ashley Battersby bring her 900 from X Games out? Will Kaya Turski drop the switch 900 we saw last year? Is Devin Logan fired up after a disappointing finals at X? Or will Anna Segal carry her momentum from Park City over a few miles to Snowbasin? And not to be forgotten is 3rd place Breck finisher Jess Warll who has rodeo variations AND corked 720s. Keri Herman has podiumed at all of her events this year, so why not another? It's really anyone's game next week in the Promised Land.
For the recap of what happened in Women's Slopestyle at Breck, click here.
The couple big stories will be who won't be competing at Snowbasin Dew Tour. Dania Assaly sustained a minor (hopefully) knee injury at X Games and Sarah Burke is rumored to be opting out of Snowbasin. With those heavy hitters out, the betting pool is a little bit clearer.
While Jen Hudak didn't qualify for finals in Breckenridge, history has shown that's a fluke. With a ton of X Games and Dew Tour hardwear, It's a safe bet that Jen is a contender. Brita Sigourney, hot off her X Games silver medal showing can't be discounted either. Ms. Consistent, Rosalind Groenewoud is likely to bring her big amplitude with her to Utah, making her a top choice as well. The talent might not be quite as deep as the slopestyle women, but there are a number of women in the mix that can make it anyones game next week. Rosalind Groenewoud and Jen Hudak have the momentum moving into Snowbasin after their one-two punch at Park City's World Champs.
For the recap of what happened in Women's Superpipe at Breck, click here.
Behind The Scenes at Winter Dew Tour Breck Women's Slopestyle
Shay's Snowbasin Top 4* to watch [in alphabetical order]:
Justin Dorey – After a disappointing X Games and FIS World Champs finals, you know Dorey is looking to put a stamp on the Dew Tour season. With more tricks and run options than anyone, watch for Dorey to put down a first place contending run.
Simon Dumont – The Dumont has been on 6 of 8 Dew Tour podiums. And has medaled at 7 of the last 8 X Games. Do I need to say more? Full throttle is the only way Simon knows how to ski the pipe and it's why he's one of the greats.
Mike Riddle – After grabbing 2nd at the Grand Prix, Riddle lost his way for Dew and X. But after handily winning the World Champs last weekend, Milk is back in the running. He's out of the Dew Cup running, but don't be surprised to see him and his back-to-back switch 900s on the podium.
Kevin Rolland – Rolland has convincingly won the last two events (World Champs hasn't happened yet). why couldn't he do a third? With a Dew Cup on the line, the Flying Frenchman will be no-holds-barred in Snowbasin.
Bobby Brown – With a week off to rest and two 2011 Dew Tour podiums in his pocket, Brown has everything going for him… including a big bag of double flips and a commanding lead in the Dew Cup series.
Sammy Carlson – After last week's World Champs silver-medal performance (and he won that thing called X Games), Sammy Carlson is as on fire as Alex Schlopy. You know this is one of his last events of the year before heading into the backcountry to film, so Carlson will be looking to put a nice bow on his competitive circuit.
Russ Henshaw – Two consecutive podiums in as many weeks shows Russ has been skiing as confidently as he is talented. Unnatural spins are the difference-maker in slope and Russ will be looking to double them up next week.
Alex Schlopy – Fresh off a win at World Champs and Big Air at X, Schlopy has more momentum than anyone heading in to Dew. No stranger the podium, Schlopy has looked like he's figured out his run, and it's working.
Rosalind Groenewoud – Not surprisingly, Roz G. has podiumed at every event she's entered this year (with a couple wins in FIS' eyes). With that 900 on lock down and a technical run to follow, Roz will be hard to beat.
Jen Hudak – She's only found the podium once this year (to date), but she's ready for another. After unveiling her 1080 at X Games, don't be surprised if she sticks it and rides away with the win.
Devin Logan – Those back-to-back flares escaped her at X, but she'll figure them out and the other ladies should take not. She's quickly becoming a mainstay in the finals and she'll soon convert that to podiums.
Brita Sigourney – She goes bigger than most and she's got that 900 on lockdown. She's found her scoring form at X Games, so look for her to repeat her 2nd place (or better) performance in Utah.
Ashley Battersby - Battersby picked up a win at the first Dew and a near miss at X, so she can't be discounted. That 900 she's got will hopefully come into its own at Snowbasin and we'll see her in that top 3.
Keri Herman – Mega-consistent, super stylish and always riding well, Keri should do well on Snowbasin's historically jump-heavy course.
Kaya Turski – The gold standard of women's slopestyle skiers, most people expect her to be on top of the podium. And with the way she's worked over the competition the last 12 months or so, she should find herself on top of another.
Jess Warll – Some cleanliness issues have held Jess back this year, but if she cleans the run up, she'll be cleaning up. If progression is going off-axis, then Jess is the most progressive. And progression is usually rewarded. She hopes to be rewarded big time at final stop of the Winter Dew Tour.
*Predictions are based solely upon Correspondent's experience and opinion and nothing else.
The list (as of this morning) of confirmed LCQ riders for Snowbasin Dew Tour:
For more information on the Winter Dew Tour, visit The Alli Sports Winter Dew Tour Page.
Stay tuned to Freeskier.com for all your news, recaps and photos from Snowbasin Dew Tour.
About the author:
Shay Williams is former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works with Monster Energy.