Kevin Rolland on his win
The Flying Frenchman has done it again. Kevin Rolland dropped three double flips in his pipe run en route to smoking the competition at the Winter Dew Tour here in Killington, VT. Under the lights, as the temperature dipped into the single digits, as the TV cameras were rolling live, Rolland took yet another win, with first timer Gus Kenworthy coming in second and podium go-getter Simon Dumont taking third. The top three runs looked something like this:
Kevin Rolland – Pipe double flip 900 mute to alley oop flatpsin 360 to switch 720 to rightside pipe double flip 900 to double cork 1260.
Gus Kenworthy – Left 900 to right 720 to switch 720 to alley-oop flatpsin 540 to pipe double flip 900.
Simon Dumont – Double cork 1260 to right 900 to pipe double flip 900 to alley-oop 720 (slight hand drag) to switch 720.
All three top top finishers — as well as the entire field — went massive tonight. The icy pipe mimicked a situation where all competitors had rocket skis. The crowd that braved the cold tonight was certainly not disappointed in the show that was put on.
L-R: Gus Kenworthy, Kevin Rolland, Simon Dumont
Kenworthy, the first competitor drop in tonight, put down a solid enough run for first place the entire night, until Rolland's final run ousted the young Telluride-native. Rolland, who crashed this first run was vocal about his nervousness before dropping in a second time around. "I was so scared at the top of the pipe because I crashed on my first run,” said Kevin. “[But] I’m so good in my mind now. Now my goal is to win the Dew Cup, and I have to try my best to get it.” Dumont, who was the favorite going into tonight's competition, had a slight hand drag in his first run, and the judges punished Simon largely. In his second run, Simon apparently got caught up in the midst of his final hit switch 1080 and landed a tiny bit underrated and popped off a shoe.
Another day in the office for Mr. Dumont.
East Coast team captain Dan Marion put down a pipe double of his own, as well as a number of boosty flatspins and 900s, landing him in fourth, his best finish at a Winter Dew Tour. Thomas Krief, who has been super consistent this year, put a pipe double 900 and a double cork 1260 in his run, ending up in fifth. Matt Margetts also went the way of the pipe double. That coupled with his stylish 900s and technical rightside 1080s, Marg ended up in sixth place.
Gus Kenworthy — the most stoked person tonight.
Banks Gilberti washed out a bit on his final switch hit of his second run, effectively wiping out all the great things — including a switch 720, 900s and a smooth ass 540 — that he did beforehand. David Wise, who was electrifying the crowd with his massive hits and double flip maneuvers, just couldn't stick the final alley-oop double flatspin. Without the crash, one would surely expect to see David on the podium.
Despite cold nights, the Superpipe still brings 'em out.
Seeking a bigger and cleaner second run, Taylor Seaton was well on his way, until he boosted an alley-oop rightside 540 a bit too big and couldn't keep it together. Mike Riddle had trouble cleanly stomping his double cork 1260 tonight, despite putting some to his feet in practice. Canadian teammate Justin Dorey crashed his first run double cork 1260 and then his second run switch 900, thus ending his search for a third straight podium. Tucker Perkins went down on his first double cork 1260 and his ski clicked off for his second run attempt, effectively stunting all the talent that his runs are generally filled with.
Mike Riddle doing what he does best.
But in halfpipe competition, that is how it goes. Every night it's a roll of the dice. For Rolland, he scores big and takes home his first Winter Dew Tour win. Gus Kenworthy, who was bubble boy a day earlier, finds himself with a hefty paycheck and Dew trophy. For Simon Dumont, you end up frustratingly short of your goal and if you're Mike Riddle, Justin Dorey or Tucker Perkins, you end up in the back of the bus. But any given night any of these competitors could find themselves on the podium.
Bobby Brown invites you to become a fan of Superpipe.
This ends two-thirds of the Winter Dew Tour for the superpose competitors. And with its close, the Dew Cup race takes shape, with Rolland and Dumont tied for first place, and Thoams Krief in third. Justin Dorey is still in the hunt in fourth place and Dan Marion rounds out the top five Dew Cup seekers.
Tonight's big winner.
And on a bigger scale, what does this do to the AFP rankings? Will Kevin and Simon move up substantially? What does this mean for Gus, Simon and Kevin's search for the year-end AFP Overall Title? For updated rankings, visit the AFP Current Rankings page and all will be answered.
This brings the Superpipe portion of the weekend to a close. The slopestyle men are all that remain, with finals action kicking off at 10:30 EST Sunday morning.
1. Kevin Rolland — 92.50
2. Gus Kenworthy — 87.75
3. Simon Dumont — 86.75
4. Dan Marion — 83.00
5. Thomas Krief — 77.75
6. Matt Margetts — 75.00
7. Banks Gilberti — 70.50
8. David Wise — 68.00
9. Taylor Seaton — 64.25
10. Mike Riddle — 54.75
11. Justin Dorey — 33.50
12. Tucker Perkins — 13.7
Don't bother Margetts. He's in the zone.