The 2013 Dew Tour came to a close today at Breckenridge Resort. The second to last event on the roster was the men’s slopestyle final, complete with 16 males, each of whom advanced through Thursday’s qualifier. Competitors had two runs each—best run counts—and after a couple of hours worth of exciting action, it was Nick Goepper who took top honors, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand who placed second and Russ Henshaw third.
Although the sun shone down on Peak 8 this afternoon, skiers faced strong winds—especially amid the first runs. A handful of competitors went down on their first runs through the course, and looked to up the ante on run two. One of those skiers was Russ Henshaw—the 2012 Dew Cup winner in slopestyle—who squeezed onto the podium at the tail end of the contest.
“The wind was gnarly,” Russ told us. “Even in training it was touch and go, so in my first run I got unlucky, had a gust of wind on my third jump, and ended up crashing, so that was a bit devastating, but I managed to pull it together on my second run.”
In regards to his mindset heading into run two, Russ said, “I honestly wasn’t thinking about it. I was watching the other guys’ runs up on the TV at the top, and trying not to think about my run. I know what I’ve got to do and I know how to do it. If I over think it, usually I end up screwing it up. So, no thinking, that’s the key.”
Russ’ run consisted of a lip 270 on to the down rail up top; 450 on, backside 270 out of the teardrop rail; left double 10 reverse tail; right 9 Japan; switch 180 on, 360 off the Chicken Coop; 270 on, 270 off the rainbow; switch left double 9 Japan and a right double 12 mute.
Watch now: Russ Henshaw’s third place run at Dew Tour 2013
Finishing second today was Canadian Alex Beaulieu-Marchand. ABM also struggled on his first run, and pulled it together under pressure on his second go-round.
“I’m super stoked, I mean, I landed my run—I couldn’t be more happy,” Alex said. “I landed what I wanted, I skied well, I’m super stoked. My mindset was just go out there and have fun. I knew I could do it. Be super confident, have fun, and just ski, man. It’s a nice course.”
Speaking re: the wind’s affect on the skiers, Alex explained, “The temp and the wind change everything out there. I got blown out by the wind on a rail [on my first run], but fortunately we had great weather for the second run, so most everybody had a shot to put down their best.”
And given Dew Tour serves as an Olympic qualifier for both the US and Canadian teams, we also asked Alex how it feels to be one step closer to an Olympic berth.
“It’s great, it’s good for me, for Canada, I’m super stoked. I mean, I just had tons of fun… Whatever happened I was stoked, but I’m so happy I got on the podium.”
ABM’s run consisted of a switch right 270 on to the down rail up top; switch 450 on, 270 out of the tear drop; switch right double 10 safety; switch left double 9 truck; 180 on, switch 540 out of the Chicken Coop; 360 switch up, backside 270 out of A-frame; double cork 720 and a left double 12 tail to close.
Watch now: ABM’s second place run at Dew Tour 2013
Finishing in first place today was Nick Goepper—Goepper was a favorite coming into the finals today as he took the top spot in Thursday’s qualifier, as well. This marks Nick’s third straight win on the AFP World Tour—having secured two wins in New Zealand in August—and in addition to taking home the Dew Cup, Nick earns valuable points towards an invitation to join the US Freeskiing Olympic team.
Listen: Nick Goepper talks about his win at Dew. Enjoy more sound bites from slope finals: click here
“I definitely noticed the wind,” Nick told us, “but I tried to stay confident with my speed and stay as small as possible so I could get speed for the jumps. I really tried to prepare myself for this one, tried to keep my body in shape and just kind of mentally stay on my game. It feels pretty amazing [to take the win].”
Goepper earned an even 93.00 on his first run, which was as follows: 270 on, pretzel 270 out of the first down rail; lip slide onto the Dew wall ride, back 450 out; switch left double 10 Japan; switch right double 9 double Japan; 180 on, switch cork 540 out of the Chicken Coop; K-Fed over the rainbow; right double 10 mute to double Japan, and a left double 12 reverse tail to finish up.
After watching an exciting battle for the second and third place spots—from the comfort of the couches in the athlete staging area at the top of the course—Nick dropped in for a victory lap, capped off by a massive double backflip on the bottom jump.
Watch now: Nick Goepper’s winning run at Dew Tour 2013
We also spoke with 33-year-old Mike Hanley, who currently coaches Goepper, and who has coached ABM and Henshaw in the past.
“I’ve been waiting for three years to see Nick and ABM go one and two in a major contest,” Hanley said.
“Dealing with the wind is always an issue here in Breckenridge,” he continued, “so we had to adapt the runs to ensure they could be going forward and as fast as possible where the wind was kicking up [the most].
Speaking re: Nick’s performance, Hanley said, “With Nick, as long as he can keep his mind clear… the fun part is giving him little things to detract his thoughts, like a little injury to his wrist [which currently kept him from competing with poles], or down in New Zealand, he actually had tonsillitis—it helps him focus, because it allows his body to just do what he knows how to do.”
And on Alex’s act, Hanley told us, “ABM was killing it so hard in practice, every day, and so hard in qualifying. He’s one of the hardest working guys in the sport, and I couldn’t be happier to see him end up right there on the podium next to Nick.”
Stay tuned for additional review of all that was Dew Tour 2013 in the coming days—the 2013/14 competition season is in full swing, and we’re looking forward to a great run.
2013 Dew Tour men’s slopestyle final results:
1. Nick Goepper (USA) 93.00
2. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN) 91.20
3. Russ Henshaw (AUS) 90.00
4. Bobby Brown (USA) 89.80
5. Tom Wallisch (USA) 89.20
6. James Woods (GBR) 86.80
7. Alex Schlopy (USA) 85.60
8. Joss Christensen (USA) 84.00
9. McRae Williams (USA) 83.60
10. Noah Wallace (USA) 71.80
11. Sammy Carlson (USA) 70.80
12. Øystein Bråten (NOR) 60.60
13. Robert Franco (USA) 52.20
14. Gus Kenworthy (USA) 38.80
15. Antti Ollila (FIN) 35.00
16. Kolby Ward (USA) 24.80