Welcome to 2009 and the 2nd stop of the Winter Dew Tour hosted by Mt. Snow this weekend. With more $1.5 million up for grabs at all three stops of the tour, you can bet your ass that the who’s who of skiing are braving the elements in the Northeast to grab that cash and fame. With Mother Nature always being an unknown, anything could happen this week, but here is a preview of what you might expect this weekend.
Weather/Course Update: “Freezing rain this morning. And a bit more snowy now. The snow from last night really made a big difference though, as it was bullet-proof yesterday. All the feedback so far on the slope course is that it is awesome. Considerably longer than Breck.”
Last stop brought inclement weather to say the least. Some athletes shined, while others were just plain screwed by the weather. Here are predictions about the top three from Breckenridge and some other notables.
Remember to stay tuned all weekend to Freeskier.com for all the stories, results and videos from the 2nd stop of the Winter Dew Tour.
Bobby Brown – Look for the Breckenridge champ to go no-holds-barred again in Mt. Snow, rain or shine. Double flips are the name of the game for Bobs as he looks for repeat.
Jossi Wells – Already on top of the game, the young kiwi is hungry for that top spot, and like Bobby, the weather didn’t slow him down one bit in Breckenridge. Expect technicality combined with smooth style for the win. Maybe we’ll even see that switch double if Jos feels up to it.
Henrik Harlaut – Bloody Dollaz grew up in Sweden so he is used to bad weather. Harlaut’s rail game and uncanny spinning ability could likely place him in the top 5.
TJ Schiller Although his official debut was last week in Tignes, the perennial top finisher is back with a passion after being sidelined by a knee injury last season. Always a threat, TJ wants to make a strong comeback.
Tanner Hall – T. Hall is making his slopestyle debut, after years of not competing. While some may be skeptical, Tanner is probably the best skier alive, so don’t be surprised if Tanner finishes on that podium.
Sammy Carlson – Pasty C hasn’t been competing as well as he’d like, but don’t count him out. When it all comes together for Sammy, he’ll be turning some heads.
Tanner Hall – The guy to beat at pipe comps, Tanner showed he hadn’t lost anything at the last stop. If the pipe and weather cooperate we could see an even more impressive run from Tanner in VT.
Justin Dorey – Dorey proved he belongs on the podium with his lofty, technical run. J-Bone will be looking to clean up his run a tiny bit, and with a little luck, he could be number 1.
Duncan Adams – Duncan came out of nowhere to grab 3rd in Breck. All he has to do is exactly what he did last stop and he’ll be in great shape. He may want to add a tiny bit more tech to the end of his creative run.
Matt Philippi – Despite not qualifying for finals, Philippi looked immensely better than someone coming off an injury. Don’t be surprised if Matt cracks that top 5.
Mike Riddle – Another guy who didn’t qualify, Riddle can turn it on, taking his 1080 to switch alley oop spins all the way to the top.
Peter Olenick – After narrowly missing the podium at Breck, Peter will be looking to throw his whiskey flip to jump onto that podium. Pete brings some of the biggest amplitude to his run, so everyone should take note when he drops in.
Kaya Turski – Arguably the most talented women’s slopestyle ride, Kaya looks to extend her win streak in VT. If she can land her technical tricks and rail game it’ll add up to a spot on that podium.
Sarah Burke – Untested in slopestyle this year, don’t be surprised if Sarah leaves the field in the dust. Word on the street is she’s been training, and we all know how Sarah does when she wants to win something.
Grete Eliassen – Absent at the first Dew, Grete has the tricks and confidence to take down any course. Look for Trina to spin her way to a podium spot to kick 2009 off.
Kim Lamarre – Also absent from Breck, Kim will look to her quiver of rail tricks to push her above the rest of the field.
Kristi Leskinen – When she wants to, she can be the best. If Kristi is in the zone, she could win the slopestyle easily.
Sarah Burke – Plain and simple, Sarah is favored to win. The highest amplitude and the cleanest tricks are in no short supply from Burke. Expect a repeat from Sarah.
Jen Hudak – The only athlete to beat Sarah in competition last year, Hudak has the tricks to compete with Sarah’s. If Hudak can go as big as Sarah and stomp cleanly, she’ll give the field a run for its money.
Roz Groenewoud – While her amplitude might not be as substantial as others, she makes up for it in technicality. 900s and both sided spins put her on the podium a few times last year, and this year is no different.
Davina Williams – Davina is one of two girls that can land a 1080. That’s a pretty big deal. Watch for Davs to make a statement with a comeback after her knee injury.
Stay tuned all weekend for Freeskier stories and videos to come out of Mt. Snow!