The slopestyle final was tight. Dew Tour organizers took the riders input and ran it a bit earlier than originally planned today. Instead of dark shadows, the riders got some milky sun. Better for their confidence and a better show for the small, but vocal crowd. Speed was definitely an issue in several spots on the course. And so was the wind. Olympic-bound Kjersti Buaas was jumpin'-pumpin' between every hit for speed, "I don't want to hit these knuckles," she said. But, Buaas caught one--and so did a lot of other riders. Janna Meyen-Weatherby was definitely favored in the ladies division, but she dropped out, opting for a DNS at the last WDT due to a sore ankle. "I looked at the course this morning and decided I didn't want to risk missing out on powder for the rest of the season by getting hurt here," she explained, from the bottom corral where she cheered on the other female competitors.
Tahoe's Jamie Anderson, nabbed the top spot for ladies with a run that included a big front 7 and the cleanest rails of any girl in the contest. Jamie also took the Dew Tour Cup today. That's an extra $25,000 in her pocket on top of the first place purse. Behind her came Jenny Jones from the U.K. Jenny rode solid all day and was smiling as usual--probably still riding the wave of stoke from her XGames gold last week. In third, came Canadian Spencer O'Brien. Spencer is a badass. She had a couple baubles in her runs, but hitting the super-steep down rail with a boardslide to fakie, then going straight into a switch back five on the next hit was a sick combo. She got that podium with some burly riding. For the rest of the pack it was a fight for speed and rhythm on what Jamie Anderson described as a "super-scary" course.
Tyler Flanagan sat down in both of his runs--the crowd (and Tour) favorite from Mammoth Lakes, California was pissed off after his first run "I'm so over it right now!" was his quote. But after his second run he regained his usual good spirits and said, "I'm going home to powder and then I'm going to Japan." That ought to cure the contest blues. A podium finish today would've given young Flanagan the Dew Tour Cup, but instead, that went to another 16-year old, Sage Kotsenburg. Sage rides with confidence and calm and set down a ridiculous number and variety of tens today. He got second place and with his Dew Tour Cup, heads home to Park City with thirty-five grand in his pocket tomorrow. Not bad for a kid who doesn't even have a car yet. In third place was dark-horse Ian Thorley. The Michigan kid has been in the mix for a few seasons, but today his ice-riding skills paid off in spades. The kid put down a switch double backside rodeo that was just undeniable. That one boosted up his score and held his podium position all through the second runs.
And--no surprise, today's Slopestyle winner for the men was Norway's Torstein Horgmo. After his first run he said, "I'm just glad I survived, because it's sooo sketchy up there." Then on his second run he linked together a switch backside twelve into a backside ten late cork. Guess he got over the sketch factor. Tour killer Chas Guldemond, Eric Willett and all the other riders put on a hell of a show today. Hats off to them all. Next up--halfpipe prelims tonight. Check out the wrap-up here tomorrow.