Photos: Jeff Brockmeyer
A smattering of foreboding clouds set the stage for the women’s and men’s pipe finals at the Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colorado today. Despite the dismal conditions, the riders busted out their best tricks in front of the sprawling crowd.
The ladies were the first to take to the stage and hit the perfectly sculpted U-tube at 9 a.m Saturday morning.
Kelly Clark, hot off a win at the Copper Grand Prix just last week, continued her winning ways by stomping her first run which consisted of a massive frontside air, backside 540, frontside 1080, Cab 720, frontside 540, backside air, and a frontside inverted 720. This run held up throughout the entirety of the contest and secured first place for Clark.
“That was my stock run, I don’t look to other people to determine the tricks I’m going to do,” said Clark following her win. “I’ve definitely come up short here the last few years and I look at how I was riding this time last year… It shows a lot of personal growth, and that’s what it’s about for me, to start this season off here—it makes me excited to see where I can push my snowboarding to.”
Kelly Clark’s winning run.
Young gun, Chloe Kim was the only rider close enough to chomp on Clark’s steeze with a run that included a huge backside air, switch backside 540, frontside 900, and classic McTwist. Her second run score earned a 95.00, a mere 0.5 less than Clark. Kim is only 14 years old, more than 16 years younger than Clark, and is already proving her pipe prowess. Since breaking into the scene two seasons ago, she’s been one to watch. Pyeong Chang Olympics in 2018? Yeah, we’re betting on Kim.
Arielle Gold rounded out the podium and nabbed third with a run that included a method followed by a frontside 900, backside 540, crippler, straight air, frontside 720, and ended with a huge Cab 900.
“This is my fourth or fifth year competing at the Breckenridge Dew Tour and I’m so stoked on getting on the podium at this event, especially with the way that the rest of the girls are riding,” said Gold following her run. “I’m definitely excited to put down my runs and get on the podium with these other awesome ladies,” she continued.
Following a quick spruce-up of the pipe—thanks to a crew of skiers who buffed out the flat bottom— the top 12 men battled it out for first place which came with an cumulative prize purse of $66,500.
With reigning Olympic champs Iouri Podladitchkov and Shaun White noticeably missing from the competitive roster, the field was level, allowing anyone the chance to come out and stomp for their way to Dew Tour infamy.
Twenty-one year old Taylor Gold earned his second win of the 2014–15 season by stomping his first run which consisted of a method, frontside 1260 tail, double Michaelchuk melon, air to fakie tail grab, Cab 1080 roastbeef, to front double 1080 frontside grab. It was the first fun of the contest and held up throughout the entirety of the event.
“I just want to keep landing runs and, for me, the most important thing is to just keep adding creativity,” Gold said after his win. “This was the first contest I’ve ever done the air to fakie and I’d like to just keep adding more fun, creative stuff, mix up the grabs, and make it more fun for me and to watch.”
The closest rider to topple Gold’s score was pipe veteran Danny Davis, who unfortunately fell on his very last hit but still laid out an amazing run that included two incredibly stylish back to back 360s, proving style is making its comeback in a scene that’s unfortunately become increasingly “spin to win” focused.
“Danny Davis’s second run was amazing,” said Giom Morisset, veteran pipe rider and current Dew Tour judge. “He was going to do super well with that run, but unfortunately fell on the last hit. His run was insane. His back to back back threes were pretty much the best combo I’ve seen in the past…. ever. I’ve been a part of pipe contests since 1997, and I’ve been a judge for six or seven years, and that combo was just amazing.”
And with that, another pipe contest is in the bag. Tomorrow, Men’s slopestyle finals will take place at 1 p.m. as the last event of the Dew Tour. Stay tuned to TWSNOW—we’ll bring you all the action.
Dew Tour 2041 Women’s Pipe Results
1. Kelly Clark 95.5
2. Chloe Kim 95.00
3. Arielle Gold 90.50
4. Xuetong Cai 76.50
5. Elena Hight 73.25
6. Hannah Teter 35.5
Dew Tour 2014 Men’s Pipe Results
1. Taylor Gold 90.50
2. Yiwei Zhang 88.75
3. Scotty James 88.25
4. Brett Esser 85.75
5. Ayumu Hirano 84.00
6. Matt Ladley 83.75
7. Taku Hirakoa 80.5
8. Greg Bretz 79.75
9. Danny Davis 78.75
10. Chase Josey 70.75
11. Ben Ferguson
12. Arthur Longo 49.00