It doesn't get any more official than this ladies and gentlemen. After years of patience, watching from the sidelines while the Dew Tour shone brightly on Skateboarding, BMX and FMX, it's finally time for the snowy side of action sports, Snowboarding and Freeskiing, to have its own 15 minutes of Dew Tour fame.
Well, 15 minutes is a bit of an understatement, considering there is over 28 hours of scheduled TV broadcast (NBC and MTV2 amongst others) surrounding the Winter Dew Tour -- not to mention the vast amount of print, radio and internet coverage from numerous media outlets.
And with that kind of coverage, comes an unprecedented level of riding from the crème de la crème of Snowboarders and Skiers. "The Dew Tour has done really well, there's tons of coverage." Says Ellery Hollingsworth about choosing to compete in the first-ever Winter Dew Tour. Sage Kotsenburg, one of the youngest snowboarders at the Dew Tour at age 15, was thinking along the same lines when he chose to do the first Winter Dew Tour. "I saw the Dew Tour this summer when it came through Salt Lake City where I live. There were a bunch of people and it was really fun to watch. There was a ton of coverage that came out of it. It's really cool to be part of the first Winter Dew Tour ever."
Ellery and Sage aren't the only professional snowboarders who realize how a competition of this caliber can benefit them. The confirmed athlete roster reads like the ultimate dream-team of shredding, from Shaun White to Gretchen Bleiler, Danny Kass to Kelly Clark and beyond. There is no doubt that this first stop in Breckenridge is bound to be a heated competition.
"Every rider at the Winter Dew Tour has the potential to throw down the winning run, so there isn't really one rider in particular I'm watching out for." Flow team rider Tim Humphreys explains. "Every rider is just as dangerous and talented as the next out here."
Humphreys (or "Humpy", as his friends call him) was one of the lucky 15 riders from yesterday's Snowboard Slopestyle Open Qualifier to make it onto the next round of Preliminaries, where a field of 35 riders (15 from Open Qualifiers and 20 pre-qualified athletes) will vie for the coveted top 12 Final spots. This week's Men's Superpipe competition will be held in the same manner, with two rounds of qualifiers that will whittle the pack down to 12 of the world's best contest competitors. The women have it tougher, with smaller fields of riders throughout Open Qualifiers and Preliminaries. Only six ladies will make it to the Slopestyle and Superpipe Finals.
Oh, and one last thing we almost forgot to mention: The prize purse. One and a half MILLION dollars (say it like Austin Powers and hold your pinky up to your mouth for added dramatization) is up for grabs over the course of this season's Winter Dew Tour. Now, if that's not enough to light a fire under the arses of these shredders so they put on a good show for us, than I don't know what would be.
Stay tuned throughout the week to www.allisports.com for daily updates, photos and videos .