By James Sullivan – Shaun White knows how to win, plain and simple. Staring down the beautifully sculpted, night-lit pipe at Mount Snow for his last run of the Men’s Superpipe Final, White, standing in an uncharacteristically low eighth place, calmed himself and found his center before proceeding to deliver the best halfpipe run in the history of the Winter Dew Tour.
His effort linked a backside rodeo 7, a 900, back-to-back 10s, a 720 and an alley-oop rodeo, leaving the judges little choice but to award him the top score of 96.25. The victory was by no means guaranteed however. Last month in Breckenridge, White executed a similar run but lost out to an explosive Danny Davis. Davis’s Colorado-win qualified him first for Mount Snow’s Final, which offered him the privilege of dropping last. Unfortunately, the magic Davis carried just three weeks ago escaped him tonight as a few sketches and miscues prevented him from challenging the top three.
Among the other podium finishers, with outstanding performances in their own right, were Norwich, Vermont’s Kevin Pearce and Breckenridge, Colorado’s Steve Fisher. Pearce had a breakout year in 2007-2008, where his combination of power and style led to multiple top finishes. KP’s first run included a frontside 900, a lofty McTwist, back-to-back 10s, and a super steezy crail. The line earned him a score of 90.00, good enough to land him in third, a placement his was proud to land in his home turf. "My family is here, my friends are here," he said. "The whole FRENDS Crew was in town repping it in the Final, so it was great to be out with those guys.”
Following a few riders later, X Games 13 Superpipe Champion Steve Fisher raised the bar even higher, spinning all the way down the 450-foot glaring pipe via back-to-back 7s, back-to-back 9s, a 1080 and a cab 9. His resulting score of 92.75 put the pressure on all the riders, including pipe powers Mason Aguirre, Scotty Lago, and Luke Mitrani. Even you guns Greg Bretz, Matt Ladley and Charles Reid had a tough time overcoming Fisher’s strong standing, ultimately placing in the bottom quarter of Finalists.
Not until White came through for the live NBC broadcast were the fans able to enjoy a classic comeback. Reflecting on his finish, Shaun seemed relieved, “It was really important for me to get a win," he said, adding how he had felt dissatisfied with the second-placement his Final's run earned in Breckenridge. Ultimately, as we all saw today, Shaun was able "to put it down last minute."
Stretching a 15-point lead past Danny Davis, Shaun White, with 190 points earned in each Slopestyle and Superpipe disciplines, poises to establish an unprecedented dual-event domination unmatched by athletes of either Dew Tour.
In overall Superpipe tour standings, Shaun White's 190 points (90 earned at Breck; 100 here tonight) sets him 15 beyond Danny Davis. In the Slopestyle discipline, Shaun is also the leader with 190 points (100 at Breck; 90 here), with Mikkel Bang trailing by 25 points. This is a dual discipline achievement unmatched by any athlete in the history of the Dew Tours.