By: Nick Lipton – Back to back Superpipe Prelims kicked off the second day of Dew Tour action here in Breckenridge. The ladies started things off in Superpipe, and Elena Hight took first in a landslide victory. After the ladies cleared the pipe the men flipped, spun and slammed for a spot in Saturday's Final. An hour of competition later Janne Korpi took the top spot, but Mason Aguirre was close on his heels.
The pipe was shorter, and a bit narrower, then today's larger contest pipes, but what it lacked in speed the riders made up for in effort. In the female prelim slams were commonplace, and it seemed as though the girls were saving something for the Final. Elena Hight lead the charge, and blew away the competition. Elena didn't bring her back to back 720's to the table, but some stylish spins and fluid runs were too much for the other girls. Sarah Conrad, Queralt Castellet, Kaitlyn Farrington, Kelly Marren, and Kjersti Ostgaard Buaas will all join Elena in the finals. A combination of smaller spins, stylish grabs, and perfect runs by these ladies created this list, and tomorrow the breaks should come off and these ladies should start slaying. If Kjersti's huge air to fakie and Elena's back to back 720's come out during the Superpipe Final, it will be epic.
Minutes after the ladies finished the men dropped in. Speed was an issue, but the boys went for it regardless. The audience enjoyed doublecorks, 1080's, back to back variations of all sorts, and plenty of massive and stylish grabs. Today's first place finisher, Janne Korpi, earned his crown by spinning anything he wanted while landing each hit squared up and ready for the next. After a hammer first run that included back to back 1080's Janne relaxed, sort of, and only put a 900 and a few 720's and 540's into his second run.
Hot on Janne's tail was Mason Aguirre. After filling up on Totino's pizza this morning Mason was ready to go. Impressive is a good adjective for Mason. The young Minnesotan managed to stomp switch 720's and massive 1080's all while taking the time to pop some huge and stylish grabs. This of course was Mason's warm-up, he had to run to the Slopestyle Prelim directly after his second run.
European's scooped up the 3rd, 4th, 9th and 10th places. Fredrik Austbo, IIkka Laari, Roger Kleivdal and Louri "Ipod" Podlachikov are all sitting pretty and waiting for the Final. Each of these riders packs 1080's, back to back you name it, and a few of these Euro's have the all important doublecork. IIkka Laari and Roger Kleivdal tried to pull doublecorks around this morning, but butt checks ensued. Watch these riders in the Final, it should be interesting.
The middle men of the top ten shared two things, they were all American, and they all have the spins, flips, and airtime to really shake up the coming Final. Zach Black, 5th, was blasting out of the pipe, spinning 1080's and poking big grabs. Local hero and former Olympian JJ Thomas had no trouble finding speed, or 6th place. JJ was getting air like no one else, and his veteran status in the Superpipe game shined bright. Coming in 7th Matt Ladley, another Colorado local, showed that he can spin fast, and with little speed. In his second run Matt, after a fall, sat up, took one turn and managed to crack off a fast nosegrab 720. Danny Davis will also be seen in the finals. Bragging about having eaten an entire pizza before the contest Danny, as always, seemed to be enjoying himself more than any other athlete. While Danny put down his classically massive airs, it was a no-speed double cork attempt that most entertained the crowd. Barley puttering up the pipe wall Danny hucked a doublecork to no avail. It was interesting to say the least, but Danny justified this move, "I just wanted to try it out in this pipe. It's a bit smaller, so I thought it would be a good idea to try it out."
The Men and Women of Superpipe will go at it again during tomorrow's Final. The six female qualifiers from today will battle it out, and hopefully Elena will bring her back to back sevens. The men will be joined by Scott Lago and Steve Fisher, bumping up the level of competition, and making this Final all the more exciting. Mason Aguirre believes Steve will be the top competitor tomorrow, but with so many athletes capable of ten's, doublecorks, and perfect runs it will be interesting to see how the podium shapes up.