The Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado has historically provided a world-class superpipe early on in the season—making the stop a favorite for athletes from around the globe, who are excited to get their legs back in action and kick off the season.
The qualifier consisted of 27 riders each being allotted two runs, with the best score counting, in order to move the 16 highest-scoring athletes to the final on Sunday.
This year's event was stacked with top competitors including Danny Davis back from his competitive hiatus, Japanese sensations Ayumu Hirano and Kazuhiro Kokubo as well as the former U.S. Olympic team of Scotty Lago, Louie Vito and, of course, Shaun White.
A favorite rider to watch for many, Davis' return to Dew Tour this year was inspiring to watch, not only for the fans but for his fellow competitors, too.
"Danny Davis, man. I'm so excited to watch him ride. He's so impressive and I'm glad to have him back!" said close friend and fellow U.S. snowboarding teammate Lago.
Lago himself had a fine day, and knows that in order to win he will need look within, "I'm just trying to focus on my ride right now and progress on that."
Following Davis' second run of the day he expressed his excitement to be back at Dew Tour and competing in general.
"It's good to be back at Dew Tour and at an event, but it's really just good to be back shredding. This was the first time I've competed in two years," said Davis looking forward to bringing it all on Sunday. "There's a lot of kids that have the doubles but it doesn't matter if you don't go big. It's all about amplitude and making things look good!"
Expect Davis to bring the amplitude in the final after landing himself in fourth following the qualifier.
What may be the biggest story of the event was White's return. Dew Tour marked his first return into competition following an ankle injury he sustained over the summer in a slopestyle event. After White's first run through the pipe it was quite obvious he came prepared to take all, all over again. Clearly, White's time spent in Australia on yet another private course paid off.
White's first and best run included a massive backside method air, something he has made his signature to kick off every run. White followed that up with back-to-back 1080s, a giant, slow rotating inverted 540 into a frontside 900 and capped it off with a frontside nosegrab before slashing the lip of the pipe.
White was in game mode following his final run, and following a quick hug to one of the cameramen at the bottom of the pipe he strapped one binding back on and kicked off and down the hill before anyone could say otherwise.
Expect big things on Sunday, not only from White, but also from the rest of the U.S., as they work to earn valuable USSA points in hopes of making the U.S. Olympic team. Don't count out the rest of the field, either. This being the first major event of the season is reason enough for anyone to come in and upset!
1st Place – Shaun White
2nd Place - Christian Haller
3rd Place – Ben Ferguson
4th Place - Danny Davis
5th Place - Greg Bretz
6th Place - Ayumu Hirano
7th Place - Louie Vito
8th Place - Taku Hiraoka
9th Place - Taylor Gold
10th Place - Scotty James
11th Place - Kent Callister
12th Plac - Zachary Black
13th Place - Scotty Lago
14th Place - Spencer Shaw
15th Place - Benji Farrow
16th Place - Iouri Podladtchikov