The Nike 6.0 Open snowboard pipe finals were a case of rider against nature when the clouds started dumping down powder. But it was the same conditions for everyone at the Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge and it came down to sticking your run and keeping up speed to make it to the top of the podium.
In the men's field, things didn't go as planned for Louie Vito in his first run even through he threw down two double corks right off the bat. But landing those tricks loosened him up for the second run.
"Last year I landed all my good runs in the second run," Vito said. "I like contests, I like the pressure and I like having to stick it right then and there. So in the second run I just had to put it down and I just wanted to come out strong in the first two hits because I knew it was going to get slower as I went down."
Vito came out charging with a front double cork 10 to cab double cork 10 to crippler to Michalchuk to front 10 to cab 7. It was the sickest run of the contest, and he threw away his first-run score of 61.00 and catapulted into the lead with a score of 90.25. His score held on throughout the rest of the finals, and the Nike 6.0 rider took home the win.
It was another Nike rider, Matt Ladley, who stood beside Vito on the podium after claiming second place with a score of 75.00.
"I did back-to-back 10s at the top and that was key for me because that's where most of the speed is for this run," 19-year-old Ladley said. "And getting those in clean and being able to maintain somewhat decent amplitude and some speed throughout the whole run, I think that's what did it for me today."
Third place went to Greg Bretz, another Nike rider who completed the podium sweep with a score of 73.75 in his first run. He came out charging with a backside 5 to front 10 to cab 7 to front 9. He finished things off with a back 9 and a front 10 and is looking forward to the next stop of the Tour in Killington.
"Going to Vermont makes me stoked because I don't have to do Open Qualifiers," Bretz said. "I get to go up there and focus on doing my finals run and hopefully come out with a win."
In the women's field, defending champ Queralt Castellet held on to her event title with win again this year. She was a powerhouse among the women and laid down a winning run with a backside 3 into a frontside 9 to back 3 grab into a front 5. She finished with a back 5 into a front 7. Her score of 85.25 was a huge improvement on her first run score of 20.75.
"I'm very excited because I couldn't land the first run so the second run I had a lot of nerves and I had a lot of pressure to land it, and the pipe was very slow so it was very hard," Castellet said. "But I did it and I'm so happy."
Elena Hight brought more Nike 6.0 presence to the podium when the team rider finished in second with a score of 80.50 after landing a frontside 5, a backside 5, and a backside 9.
"First runs were really hard and pretty much every girl fell," Hight said. "At that point you kind of just have to put it all behind you and just hope for the best. I didn't put down the run I wanted to but you kind of have to adjust with the conditions and I'm just stoked that I landed a run."
Defending Dew Cup champ Kaitlyn Farrington put it together to finish third with a score of 74.25, a huge improvement after slamming in her first run and scoring in the teens.
The Winter Dew Tour heads to Killington Vermont next month for the second event of the season.
Snowboard Superpipe Final Highlights
|SNB SUPERPIPE MEN FINALS|
|SNB SUPERPIPE WOMEN FINALS|