Photos: Mike Azevedo
What a long a wild trip this season has been. First of all, where has all of the snow been? It seems like winter hasn't even really begun; yet this weekend marks the final event of the Dew Cup series. Weird.
The final super-pipe of the 2011-12 Dew cup season happened today, February 11, at Snowbasin resort. The field at this event was a little different then at previous events because there's a ton going on this weekend. At the same time that this event is happening, there's also the Toyota big air in Japan, the Baker Banked Slalom, and practice for the World Snowboard Championships in Norway. It gave a chance to some riders who normally wouldn't make finals, or even place, to do just that.
The day kicked off with the Women. It was a small field, just six riders in the finals. The ladies rode really well, but it was easy to see why top three were the top three. Xuetong Cai, Gretchen Bleiler, and Kelly Clark we all riding really well. They were blasting, but in the end it was Kelly who took the win. It came down right to her final run. Gretchen was in the lead, but Kelly did her 1080 and that was that. It was a real nail biter.
For the guys there were two riders who were the complete standouts all day, Louie Vito and Iouri Podladtchikov. In both of their final runs they were able to do runs with four double corks. It really was a noticeable difference between those two and the rest of the field. One stand out moment though was Spencer Shaw and his frontside 1440 tail-grab. It was nuts. He just grabbed the tail and cranked it. I've personally never seen a 1440, so I thought it was cool. In fact, it was cool enough to get him third place.
Sometimes I don't get the judging at contests. Why do they always score things so high at the very beginning? Don't they know that everyone else has to still go? On Louie Vito's last run he got a 98.00, the highest score in Dew Tour history. Now don't get me wrong, the run was sick. He did four double corks, and was going pretty big. But how did they know for a fact that Ipod wasn't going to send it? We may never know. But one thing I do know is that Louie Vito's the winner today, and is on a flight to Norway to ride in the WCS.
Stay tuned tomorrow for some serious slope coverage from the Toyota Championships at Snowbasin Resort.
1. Kelly Clark, West Dover, Vt., 95.00.
2. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, Colo., 94.25.
3. Xuetong Cai, China, 89.75.
4. Sophie Rodriguez, France, 77.00.
5. Sarah Conrad, Canada, 68.50.
6. Arielle Gold, Steamboat Springs, Colo., 26.25.
1. Louie Vito, Bellefontaine, Ohio, 98.00
2. Iouri Podladtchikov, Switzerland, 97.00.
3. Spencer Shaw, Stratton, Vt., 90.00.
4. Trevor Jacob, Malibu, Calif., 88.00.
5. Zachary Black, Breckenridge, Colo., 86.00.
6. Ben Ferguson, Bend, Ore., 83.50.
7. Jack Mitrani, Mammoth Lakes, Calif., 81.50.