James Woods leads field in Toyota Freeski Slopestyle Semifinal at Dew Tour

Thurday at Dew Tour Breckenridge kicked off with the semifinal of the Men’s Toyota Freeski Slopestyle competition. The field started with 30 riders, who were each given two runs. The top 10 riders guaranteed themselves a spot in the finals, 11-20 set themselves up for a date with the last chance qualifier immediately after, and 21-30 would be eliminated.

PHOTO GALLERY: Men’s Toyota Freeski Slopestyle Semifinal

The first set of runs produced some surprising results, with a lot of the favorites failing to land a full run. As a result, in the latter stages of the semifinal, the bottom third of the results sheet read like a who’s who of freesking over the last few years. At the time of their second runs, the smooth-skiing Henrik Harlaut, former Dew Tour winner Russ Henshaw, defending champion Gus Kenworthy, tech rider Alex Bellemare and Olympic gold medalist Joss Christensen all found themselves outside the top 20, while Breckenridge local Bobby Brown sat right on the LCQ bubble in 20th with all of those heavy hitters still left to go.


Joss Christensen cracked the top ten, but just barely. (Photo: Topher Baldwin)

This put the pressure on all of the aforementioned riders: Finishing inside the top ten was ideal, as it would guarantee them a spot in the final, but cracking the top 20 was essential to keep their hopes of making the LCQ alive, raising the question of whether or not to play it conservative. That certainly wasn’t the route Brown went though, as he dropped a strong second run, landing a switch right dub 900 and a left dub 1260 on the final jumps to help move himself all the way up to third. Kenworthy also got himself comfortably inside the top ten, landing in sixth, while Joss Christensen had the final run of the contest and narrowly snuck into the final by placing 10th, knocking Evan McEachran off the bubble and into the LCQ.

Two riders who did not have much to worry about after their first runs were James Woods and Jossi Wells. Woods grabbed the top spot on the leaderboard with a 90.40 on his first attempt, landing a right dub 1260 and a switch right dub 1080 on the bottom jumps and turning in strong rail sections. Wells slotted in just behind him in second with a score of 89.80 on his first run. Both scores would hold up as the top two.


James Woods will be in search of his first Dew Tour win. (Photo: Topher Baldwin)


Gus Kenworthy will have a shot to defend his slopestyle title. (Photo: Topher Baldwin)

Semifinal Results
1. James Woods, 90.40
2. Jossi Wells, 89.80
3. Bobby Brown, 86.60
4. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand, 84.40
5. McRae Williams, 82.40
6. Gus Kenworthy, 81.00
7. Antoine Adelisse, 80.20
8. Robby Franco, 77.80
9. Jesper Tjader, 76.20
10. Joss Christensen, 75.00
**Top 10 advance to the final

11. Evan McEachran, 74.80
12. Antti Ollila, 73.00
13. Oystein Braaten, 71.80
14. Oscar Wester, 71.40
15. Teal Harle, 67.40
16. Fabian Bosch, 65.20
17. Elias Ambuhl, 62.60
18. Jonas Hunziker, 60.60
19. Noah Wallace, 60.20
20. Matt Walker, 57.00
**10-20 advance to the LCQ

21. Felix Usterud, 55.60
22. Riley Culver, 53.20
23. Colby Stevenson, 47.80
24. Henrik Harlaut, 42.80
25. Chris Laker, 33.60
26. Alex Bellemare, 32.60
27. Russ Henshaw, 32.30
28. Andri Ragettli, 31.40
29. Noah Morrison, 27.80
30. Vincent Gagnier, 23.40


Oystein Braaten is bound for the final after finishing 2nd in the LCQ. (Photo: Topher Baldwin)

For those freeskiers who missed the cut into the final, the last chance qualifier gave them one final run – and one final chance – to impress the judges, with only the top two riders advancing on. Switzerland’s Fabian Bosch, 18, posted the high score to secure a spot, while Norway’s Oystein Braaten survived the cut as well to put him back into the final a year after he finished second in the event.

LCQ Results
1. Fabian Bosch, 88.00
2. Oystein Braaten, 86.20
**Top 2 advance to the final

3. Noah Wallace, 85.60
4. Elias Ambuhl, 73.80
5. Oscar Wester, 43.00
6. Evan McEachran, 20.40
7. Teal Harle, 18.20
8. Antti Ollila, 15.40
9. Jonas Hunziker, 13.80
10. Matt Walker, 10.60

The Men’s Toyota Freeski Slopestyle Final gets underway at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 13 on NBC and DewTour.com. You can also tune in to DewTour.com 30 minutes early for the Dew Tour Live pre-show with Georgia Lindsay and Doug Bishop.

Advancing to the final
1. James Woods
2. Jossi Wells
3. Bobby Brown
4. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand
5. McRae Williams
6. Gus Kenworthy
7. Antoine Adelisse
8. Robby Franco
9. Jesper Tjader
10. Joss Christensen
11. Fabian Bosch
12. Oystein Braaten

 

JAMES WOODS, 1ST-PLACE SLOPESTYLE SEMIFINAL RUN

 

JOSSI WELLS, 2ND-PLACE SLOPESTYLE SEMIFINAL RUN

 

BOBBY BROWN, 3RD-PLACE SLOPESTYLE SEMIFINAL RUN