The Women's Freeski Superpipe qualifying round in Breckenridge, Colorado took place under clear, sunny skies, on Breck's world-class pipe, making for a true winter competition setting and feel.
The qualifier consisted of 25 superpipe riders each taking two complete runs down the pipe, with only the best score counting. The eight highest-scoring athletes are moving on to the final on Friday at 11.30 a.m. ET, so be sure to tune in live on dewtour.com to see the best of the best compete for the championship.
Coming into the event, the field of women – from all over the world – is deeper than ever, with such freeskiers as Maddie Bowman, Virginie Faivre, Anais Caradeux and Roz Groenewoud all fighting for the Dew Cup. After the final alley-oop, it was Angeli VanLaanen emerging on top.
VanLaanen is continuing her comeback in the world of freeski after a two and a half year break, overcoming Lyme disease, for which she's currently in remission.
"It feels good to be back," VanLaanen said. "I'm feeling great, really excited and enjoying the moment and feeling good about my skiing and pushing myself."
VanLaanen's winning run was her qualifier. Straight air on left wall with a critical grab to a left 540 mute grab on the right wall, into a right 540 safety, left 720 safety to a switch right 360 to a safety grab on the right wall, ending it on alley oop 360 coming out switch.
In the final VanLaanen expects to land a 900, which she washed out on in her second run.
The superpipe was Devin Logan's second qualifier of the day – she had about an hour in between each. The 20-year-old finished second in women's freeski slopestyle. This time around, Logan just made the final, finishing in eighth place.
"It was all right," says Logan about her performance. "Pipe could work on a couple of things, but happy to have the energy I do still. Got to get a couple of tricks in on pipe, need to get a 900 and clean up everything to make it look pretty. Luckily I have a few extra days to practice."
Notables who didn't qualify for the final on Friday, which speaks to how deep the field is, were Roz G, who was "coming in hot," according to Canadian teammate and freeski slopestyle rider Dara Howell and Virginie Faivre, who revealed that two months ago broke her back and is just now getting back to skiing.
1st Place – Angeli VanLaanen
2nd Place – Maddie Bowman
3rd Place – Ayana Onozuka
4th Place – Annalisa Drew
5th Place – Brita Sigourney
6th Place – Anais Caradeux
7th Place – Rowan Cheshire
8th Place – Devin Logan