By Shay Williams Freeskier Magazine – We continue our 2nd day (morning) of coverage at the Breckenridge stop of the Winter Dew Tour with slopestyle open qualifiers. Ams and Pros alike had to brave an early morning wake up call and cold temps today to battle and fight for the final nine spots to Slopestyle Preliminaries.
Jossi Wells shows how a 270 is done
The action today can only be described in one phrase: A maelstrom of trickery. Double flips this, 450 that, blunt here, big crash there. The field of 50-some-odd warriors had to literally battle for the final nine spots.
Josh Bibby gets his 270 on
Elias Ambuhl came out swinging hard with a run that included, but wasn't limited to, a double 1080, right 900, and switch double 1080. The swiss pimp crashed his first run but held it together long enough to take the top spot. Sophisticated Swedish rider Jacob Wester brought his A-game to the table, using double corks on his march to 2nd place. Ian "Chug" Cosco, a Canadian Diplomat in his own right, dub 12'd and most likely "jeahhhhhhhhed" his way to the 3rd qualifying spot.
Cork 900 was the trick of the day
Other highlights from the top nine include Alex Schlopy doubling, Benedikt Mayr's rail mastery and McRae "McLovin" Williams coming outta left field to nab 6th. A decidedly European qualifying group harkens a new age in Slopestyle performance. While Halfpipe is predominantly run by North Americans, the euros are the next gen in slopestyle heavy hitters.
Kenny G, Pete O and Tim Russell -- Empire
Just missing out on qualifying was the likes of LJ Strenio, who put down some solid runs (and doubles), Peter Olenick (whose new double misty 900 turned heads), Dane Tudor whose Backcountry skills were brought to the park and John "Big Bird" Spriggs, whose doubles just weren't quite palpable enough for the judges to bite on.
Double flip your way to glory
Tom Wallisch bangs out a switch 540 for the ladies
As the field has been narrowed down to the pre-qualified (and super qualified Alexis Godbout and Bobby Brown), the Slopestyle Prelims tomorrow morning should be quite the show. Basically if you take today, and multiply the action by 7, that's what you'll have tomorrow, so don't miss out. Halfpipe practice is about to get underway for tonight's Halfpipe prelims where heavy hitters like Margetts, Olenick, Wells and co. will be putting on a show in the early evening. If you're in the Summit County area, stop by the Breckenridge Halfpipe on Peak 8 at 4:30, you won't be disappointed.
T-Crack Wallisch shows off his Go Pro
Keep checking Freeskier.com for more updates from the Winter Dew Tour at Breckenridge.
Men's Top 10 from Slopestyle Qualifiers
1) Elias Ambuhl
2) Jacob Wester
3) Ian Cosco
4) Oscar Harlaut
5) Alex Schlopy
6) McRae Williams
7) Pekka Hyysalo
8) Elvis Harsheim
9) Benedikt Mayr
10) Banks Gilberti
NBC Saturday, Dec. 19 3-4:30pm EST SNB Pipe Women's/Men's Finals
NBC Sunday, Dec. 20 4-6pm EST SNB Slope Women's/Men's Finals
USA Network Saturday, Dec. 19 Midnight-1am EST SKI Pipe Finals
USA Network Sunday, Dec. 20 2-3am EST SKI Slope Finals
USA Network Monday, Dec. 21 7-8am EST
MTV2 Saturday, Jan. 2 10-11pm EST