By: Nick Lipton – The '09/'10 winter has been the wildest in Superpipe history. New tricks, an Olympic circus and too many injuries have shaken the pipe world and the Dew Tour with it. Dew Tour point leader Danny Davis is out due to a non-snowboarding accident and is recovering from a broken back. Steve Fisher and JJ Thomas, both former Olympians, are in, and an entire crew of youngsters are looking to make their marks after not making the new Olympic team. When Mount Snow, Vermont hosts the Toyota Championship later this week, a blitzkrieg of Superpipe punishment should explode out of the riders who feel they have something to prove.
The focus of winning the Olympics, injuries and reality TV shows kept Superpipe hotshots like Shaun White, Kevin Pearce and Louie Vito out of competition this year, but former Olympians Steve Fisher and JJ Thomas have competed all winter and are now the tour's Dew Cup favorites. Danny Davis, who won both the first and second stops, was looking like a shoe in for the top spot, but his badly timed accident in Utah has taken him out of the final contest.
Danny's domination this winter still leaves him in Dew Cup contention, but it's unlikely. For Danny to win the Cup he'll need a 12th or worse finish from Steve Fisher, an 8th or worse from JJ Thomas and anything below a 1st place from Jack Mitrani. Since it's highly unlikely that will happen it's time to focus on Steve and JJ. Only 15 points splits these two riders in the Cup race, and if Steve doesn't finish in 1st or 2nd JJ will have a chance to take the Cup. The longshot Jack Mitrani could take the Cup too, but only if Steve and JJ blow it and place at the bottom of finals.
Between the three, Jack will have the upper hand as the only East Coaster. But after the two former Olympians missed making the team this year, I'm expecting them to put on a big show as they remind us why they get paid to fly through the U-ditch and how they would have represented the US in the Olympics just fine.