Russ Henshaw Wins Dew Tour Open Slope Qual [VIDEO]

Russ Henshaw Wins Dew Tour Open Slope Qual [VIDEO]

The Winter Dew Tour at Breckenridge has officially opened with its first competitive round: the Men's Open Slopestyle Qualifier going down this afternoon. It was no secret that the athletes and event staff were expecting a little snow, some bursts of wind and very flat light. Unfortunately, Mother Nature put the kibosh on the second run of Heat Two with full on blizzard conditions. Heavy snowfall compounded the already tough slopestyle conditions, forcing the Dew Tour folks to shut it down for the day. Due to Heat Two not being able to complete their second runs, the format was changed from ten moving on, to thirteen.

Chris Laker

But before the snow gods decided to screw over the competition, there was a serious event going down. In the two-heat format, the top five from each heat moved on with the next three highest scores from the entire field also making the cut. Culling 60 skiers down to 13 is no easy task and the athletes didn't make it any easier with the high caliber level of riding hitting the course today. But in the end, Russ Henshaw, Dane Tudor, Chris Laker, Vincent Gagnier and James Woods took heat one while Thomas Dolplads, Aleksander Aurdal, Paul Bergeron, Chris Logan and Kolby Ward took the top honors in heat two. The final three squeaking in were LJ Strenio, Colby West, and Nick Martini.

Henshaw easily took heat one and the highest score of the entire qualifiers. Russ' 270s up top and double corks down below showed his technical ability throughout. Surely Russ' extensive competition experience helped him in today's weather. Thoams Dolplads and Aleksander Aurdal, the top two finishers in heat two, showcased their solid style and double corks to harken in a wave of Norwegian talent. Dane Tudor, who is better known for his backcountry segments with PBP, turned a bunch of heads, dropping double flips and smooth style all day. A multi-national bunch, the 13 qualified represent Australia, Norway, USA, Canada and the UK.

Jackson & Beau Wells

Highlights from today include: Nick Martini's misty 630 mute off the up rail, Beau James Wells' 450 to 270 off on the rainbow rail, and about 15 guys who threw A-level double corks/flips. We also want to wish Beau James Wells a speedy recovery after he went down in Heat two, and sustained a leg injury. Hopefully it's nothing serious and we'll see the youngster ripping again soon.

These 13 riders have survived the first round, but they face a bigger challenge on Frida's prelims where Henshaw and crew will meet vets like Sammy Carlson, PK Hunder and Jacob Wester and young guns like Alex Schlopy, Elvis Harsheim and Alexis Godbout. The top three from last year's Dew Cup standings are pre-qualified for Sunday afternoon's final: Bobby Brown, Andreas Håtveit and Tom Wallisch. Hopefully the weather will chill out in the snow department for tomorrow morning's Men's Halfpipe Open Qualifier and tomorrow afternoon's Women's Slopestyle Prelims. Come to Freeskier for your Dew Tour recaps and news.

Men's 13 qualifiers: 1. Russ Henshaw — 87.83 2. Thomas Dolplads — 83.17                            3. Dane Tudor — 82.83 4. Chris Laker — 82.67 5. Vincent Gagnier — 81.83 6. James Woods — 81.50 7. John Strenio — 80.68 8. Colby West — 80.17 9. Nick Martini — 78.67 10. Aleksander Aurdal — 78.33 11. Paul Bergeron — 77.17 12. Chris Logan — 75.67 13. Kolby Ward — 74.00

The reason Heat 2, Run 2 was canceled. Snow!

Pre-qualified athletes: Elias Ambuhl Anders Backe Bobby Brown Sammy Carlson Phil Casabon Ian Cosco Charles Gagnier Banks Gilberti Alexis Godbout Steffen Hamre Elvis Eidsvold Harsheim Andreas Håtveit JF Houle PK Hunder Sean Jordan Alex Schlopy Tom Wallisch Jossi Wells McRae Williams

Full Winter Dew Tour Nike 6.0 Open at Breckenridge TV Schedule:

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