Big crowd turns out for inaugural Dew Tour event
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado – It was a dogfight to the top of the podium of the freeski big air contest Thursday night, with athletes one-upping each other in their three runs of the finals event.
New Zealand’s Josiah Wells, Telluride’s Gus Kenworthy, Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, Penn.), Switzerland’s Kai Mahler and Sweden’s Henrik Harlaut landed spots among 12 contestants in the envied finals heat. There, they battled it out for the win in the winter Dew Tour’s inaugural freeski big air event, with victory going to the skier with the best score of three final runs.
Kai Mahler landed an undisputed 97 with a switch double misty double japan grab and gaining huge air, much to the crowd’s delight.
“It was the first time I ever did that trick,” the Swiss skier said. “It was a super cool jump, one of the best I have ever jumped in my life.”
Mahler took the lead early with a 93.25 in a jump with amplitude, depth and rotation. Everyone else started with scores in the 80s in the first heat. Wells landed a 69.75 in the first round and never really stepped it up to finish.
Meanwhile, in Round 2, Kenworthy cleaned up with huge height, adding tail grab and sneaking ahead to first place with a 94.5. But then Henrik took his smile and pink helmet down the ramp to boot into his butter takeoff and a 94.75 score.
Heading into the third round, Kenworthy bested himself for the third time in three runs for a 95.75 and another first-place spot, only to be bested by Mahler’s final run, which wowed the crowd both with its style and score. Harlaut wasn’t able to throw a trick that impressed the judges as much as his second round, and he finished with a 91.5 on the third run.
With the San Francisco Bay Bridge as a backdrop, skateboarders in the October Dew Tour city stop took to an urban jib-and-grind environment that spanned three city blocks.
It was a first for the tour, and it was so well received by athletes and spectators, the powers that be decided to duplicate the competition.
Tonight, with the mountains and quaint town of Breckenridge as the backdrop, athletes will compete for the best run in streetstyle, an urban-inspired course with authentic street features.
“We wanted to do something downtown and connect the town to the event,” said Chris Prybylo, vice president of events for Alli Sports, adding that the skateboard event was successful in San Francisco, event executives wanted to do something similar in Breckenridge. The idea was born about a month ago, and with the minds of Breck resort, Keystone resort and Snow Park Technologies, the urban environment was born.
It all happens at 7:30 p.m. on Washington Street, starting just west of South Ridge Street and ending at Blue River Plaza. Imagine a flatbed truck, wall ride, jersey barrier rail and a dumpster feature situated among Breckenridge’s Christmas flair for an evening under the lights – all followed by in-town fireworks.
“It’s a really cool design,” Prybylo said. “It’s an authentic, urban environment.”
Athletes are still unconfirmed, but Prybylo said, “From all the buzz, it seems the athletes are excited” to participate.
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