Heavy snow accumulated nonstop throughout the day at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Saturday, but it became tranquil before the start of the last superpipe event at Dew Tour. Following a dominating performance by Olympic gold medalist and top qualifier David Wise in the semifinal, this event was his for the taking. Twelve riders who proved their worth in the semifinal took to the pipe for Saturday’s final. In previous years, Kevin Rolland and Mike Riddle have both stood on the podium. Nevertheless, with Riddle eliminated in the semis, one would assume the heavy favorites were Wise and Rolland. Bring in the inclement weather and it is safe to say that this competition was up for grabs for any of the twelve freeskiers. David Wise agreed: “I’ve been through every kind of condition you could possibly imagine and I’ve been through contests where anybody who can land a double cork is going to win. When we dropped into the first run of practice, that’s how I felt it was going to be, because it was so slow.”
After the first set of runs, New Zealand’s own Beau-James Wells stood atop the leaderboard. Wells’ first run consisted of a switch 720 tail, right dub 1260 safety, left 900 tail, right 900 reverse mute and a left dub 1260 safety. Interestingly enough, Wells couldn’t huck any dubs in practice due to poor weather conditions, so it had the judges hyped that he was able to put them down in the final with no warmup. Consequently, Wells overtook Kevin Rolland’s technical Run 1 of an 85.60 for the lead. Meanwhile, Alex Ferreira was on a roll of great performances, scoring an 83.40 in Run 1. David Wise to much dismay wasn’t as fortunate. “I fell on my first run which isn’t characteristic of me,” he said. “Usually if I’m going to do well, I land it on my first run and I can kind of cruise. So, it was a lot of pressure for me and I kind of enjoyed that.” It meant Wise had only one more chance to continue his winning streak.
Beau-James Wells couldn’t be stopped and took an early lead. (Photo: Topher Baldwin)
Early in the second set of runs, the Wells brothers stole the show. Beau-James Wells matched his first run but added a right dub flair at the end, which boosted his score to a 90.40. Byron Wells threw down a left dub 1260 mute, right 900 reverse mute, left 900 tail, left alley-oop flat 540 Japan, left 1080 and switch left alley-oop 540. At one point, Beau stood in 1st and Byron in 3rd place. Then the competition started heating up even more as Kevin Rolland and Alex Ferreira both came out charging and improved their scores from Run 1. Rolland scored an 87.40 followed by Ferreira who scored an 88.60, bumping Byron Wells to 5th place. The pressure was now on Wise after the Wells brothers, Rolland and Ferreira put down great runs. With heavy pressure, top qualifier David Wise dropped in and did not disappoint. Wise completed Run 2 with a right 900 tail, left dub 1260 mute, right 1080 opposite tail, switch left 720 Japan and a right dub 1260 mute. The crowd went wild and suspense filled the frigid air. Would Wise’s score outshine Beau-James Wells’ 90.40? After a lengthy deliberation from the judges, it most certainly did, as Wise rose to the top, outscoring the field with a 91.60, once again proving triumphant.
Alex Ferreira charged right out of the gate, completing two impressive runs with confidence. (Photo: Topher Baldwin)
David Wise fought off the pressure after a fall in Run 1, claiming the top spot after a successful Run 2. (Photo: Anna Stonehouse)
Don’t miss the men’s freeski slopestyle final tomorrow (Sunday) at 1:00 p.m. ET live on NBC and DewTour.com.
1. David Wise, 91.60
2. Beau-James Wells, 90.40
3. Alexander Ferreira, 88.60
4. Kevin Rolland, 87.40
5. Byron Wells, 84.40
6. Taylor Seaton, 81.20
7. Kyle Smaine, 79.40
8. Lyman Currier, 77.80
9. Birk Irving, 75.00
10. Broby Leeds, 64.80
11. Aaron Blunck, 54.60
12. Kris Atkinson, 51.80
DAVID WISE, WINNING RUN
BEAU-JAMES WELLS, 2ND-PLACE RUN
ALEX FERREIRA, 3RD-PLACE RUN
KEVIN ROLLAND, 4TH-PLACE RUN
BYRON WELLS, 5TH-PLACE RUN