By: George Crosland – Torstein Horgmo took the final stop of the Dew Tour in Vermont here at Mount Snow, finding himself standing on top of a podium that was sought after by a very talented group of young and experienced riders. Second place has been good to Sage Kotsenburg as he grabbed another one and ended up with enough points to secure the Dew TourCup for men’s slopestyle. If you would have talked about all the new talent bustin’ out this season back in November, people may have scoffed but newer names like Tyler Flanagan, Eric Willett, Sage Kotsenburg, Ian Thorley and more have really brought the heat to slopestyle. Not that slopestyle even needed any life breathed into it as names like Torstein Horgmo, Chas Guldemond and Andreas Wiig have been pushing the levels higher every year. But now there is new blood and the talent pool has definitely deepened.
Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Results:
1. Torstein Horgmo
2. Sage Kotsenburg
3. Ian Thorley
Torstein Horgmo, 1st place
The slopestyle course set up at Mount Snow was challenging. The top finishers said it was technical but fun. People that did not place as high in the rankings used terms like sketchy and others that may better be left un-said. The course was tight, like New England riding the riders had to be on their game. It started off with a cool little pyramid up/down ledge gap, rolled into a ledge up a set of stairs carved into the snow. From there came the crux of the course, a midsized jump that led into a super steep landing then into a curve and into the big Toyota Truck step up fun box.
Then the riders hit the brakes for a super steep rail section. The last two jumps where good sized and their layout meant coming up short or overshooting the landing could have meant the end of riding for the season due to injury. A simple butt check anywhere on the course meant not clearing the next obstacle and thus ended many runs throughout the days leading to the finals. On the other hand we are talking about the worlds best snowboarders and watching them tackle the course was a blast to watch, especially in the finals when they were getting it dialed in.
Coming into the final stop of the Dew Tour, Toyota Championships, Tyler Flanagan was leading the points race but he had some sketches in his run, finished 10th and that left the door open for Sage Kotsenburg to make up enough points to overcome Tyler and become the youngest Dew Tour Champion. Tyler has had a phenomenal season and at age 16 with so much talent, the future is bright for him.
The finals were a good mix of new names and veterans. Sixteen year old Nick Julius had some good style but could not put together a full run. Of course we all know Eric Willet by now after getting Dew Tour and X Games podiums this season. People often ask, “That guy is sick, who is it” as Norway’s Ulrik Badertscher blasts past, he is one to always watch. Nick Poohachoff, from Tahoe, may have a funny sounding name but his riding is no joke. New England breeds them tough and after spending a few days here it is easy to see why. New England is tough riding compared to say California; it is cold as heck (even when the sun is out) and the snow is hard and fast, kinda like the cold of Wyoming but without the terrain and powder. So it comes as no surprise that 3 of the top 6 riders started their riding careers in nearby New Hampshire where you gotta motivate to even leave the house in the winter. Sam Hulbert, Chas Guldemond and Brandon Reis took the 4th through 6th spots.
If you are familiar with Michigan’s Ian Thorley at all you know he is capable of podiums and his run, which consisted of tricks like; 50-50 front flip, backside rodeo nine and even a switch double backside rodeo to name a few run highlights, put him in third. Sage Kotsenburg has been on fire this season; a front board 450 on the Toyota, a front 10 into a back 10 on the final 2 jumps launched him not only into second place for the day but 1st overall for the Dew Tour. Torstein Horgmo, is an amazing rider and his experience and talent prevailed. For Torstein it came down to nailing his second run which included a crazy switch backside 12 into a backside 10 cork on the final two jumps and other overall course mastery to nab the first place spot. The closing of the second Winter Dew Tour marks the end of contest season for some as the search for powder and banging video parts begins. It is hard to imagine what will be going through sixteen year old Sage Kotsenburg’s head as he goes home with Dew Tour Cup and a little of extra money in his account. When he gets home and his friends are like “what did you do this weekend” his answer will surely top theirs.
Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final By: George Crosland