Dew Tour announces initial invitees, including Aspen’s Alex Ferreira, for competitions at Copper Mountain
Ferreira won the modified superpipe competition at last year's Dew Tour
COPPER MOUNTAIN RESORT — More than 100 of the world’s best freeskiers and snowboarders will again descend on Summit County, this time Copper Mountain Resort, for this winter’s Dew Tour.
The Dew Tour, scheduled for Feb. 6-9, will feature slopestyle, superpipe and streetstyle competitions for men’s and women’s snowboarders and freeskiers.
Dew Tour representatives said in an Oct. 24 announcement that this year’s slopestyle competition will include a format where skiers and snowboarders session three jumps and four rails for a total of seven hits in a single top-to-bottom run. This is a change from last year, when the slopestyle competition was split into a rail session and jump session, with an intermission in between, at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
This year’s men’s snowboard and ski slopestyle competitions will feature 16 riders, all of which will take two qualifying runs to be judged on “overall impression.” Nine snowboarders and skiers then will move on to the finals, to which 2018 champion Stale Sandbech of Norway will have an automatic qualification.
The women’s ski and snowboard slopestyle competitions will go straight into a final with a field of eight competitors. Both the men’s and women’s slopestyle finalists will be judged on their best run out of three.
The men’s snowboard slopestyle competition will be of most interest to local Summit County fans, as Summit-raised Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard and two-time reigning FIS World Cup season champion Chris Corning are invited to compete.
The other men’s snowboard slopestyle athletes invited to compete are reigning Dew Tour slopestyle champion Stale Sandbech of Norway, 2019 X Games Aspen slopestyle champion Mark McMorris of Canada, Rene Rinnekangas of Finland, Mons Roisland of Norway, Sebastien Toutant of Canada, Sven Throgren of Sweden, Darcy Sharpe of Canada and Yuki Kadono of Japan.
The Dew Tour has also invited Norwegian star Marcus Kleveland and Japanese teen phenom Takeru Otsuka to compete in slopestyle, both set to return from season-ending injuries last season.
And then there’s invitee Max Parrot of Canada. Parrot, who was forced out of last year’s Dew Tour due to a non-hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis, is invited to the Dew Tour after winning a gold medal in big air at his first competition back, August’s X Games Norway.
In the women’s snowboard competition, defending champion Anna Gasser of Austria is joined by invitees including American legend Jamie Anderson, up-and-coming American stars Julia Marino and Hailey Langland Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland.
In the men’s ski slopestyle competition, reigning champion Evan McEachran from Canada is joined by invitees Alex Hall, Nick Goepper and Mac Forehand of the United States, Oystein Braaten and Ferdinand Dahl of Norway, Henrik Harlaut of Sweden, Andri Ragettli and Fabian Bosch of Switzerland, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand and Teal Harle of Canada, and James Woods of Great Britain.
In the women’s ski slopestyle competition, reigning champion and teen phenom Kelly Sildaru of Estonia is joined by invited athletes Maggie Voisin of the United States, Mathilde Gremaud and Sarah Hoefflin of Switzerland, Johanne Killi of Norway and Tess Ledeux of France.
A year after Dew Tour debuted a modified superpipe competition at the 2018 Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Dew Tour is advertising its superpipe competition again as one that will be of the modified variety.
Last year’s modified superpipe at Breckenridge, constructed by Snowpark Technologies and Breckenridge Ski Resort’s terrain park crew, featured a side-hit jump above the pipe leading into a three-hit, shortened superpipe. Then, exiting the pipe, skiers and snowboarders hit what was dubbed a “tombstone” feature by the athletes to a traditional slopestyle landing. To wrap the course up, competitors then had the choice of two hips that they could take or a halfpipe wall into a hip landing.
No details have been released on what features a modified pipe at Copper would include. Dew Tour said 10 men and eight women in ski and snowboard disciplines will head straight into modified superpipe finals and will be judged on their best run out of three.
The list of men’s snowboard superpipe invitees includes 2018 champion Scotty James of Australia as well as American icon Danny Davis, American star and 2018 Olympic medalist Ben Ferguson, up-and-coming Californian teen star Toby Miller, American veteran Chase Josey of Idaho and 2018 Olympic team member Jake Pates of Eagle-Vail.
The women’s snowboard modified superpipe competition includes invitees Maddie Mastro of California, who won last year’s Burton U.S. Open superpipe competition; 2018 Olympic medalist Arielle Gold of Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs; Jiayu Liu and Xuetong Cai of China; Queralt Castellet of Spain; and Sena Tomita of Japan.
A notable omission from the list of invited women’s snowboard superpipe athletes is American teen phenom and 2018 Olympic gold medalist and Dew Tour champion Chloe Kim. Kim, 19, announced recently that she will be taking a break from many international competitions this season to focus on her schooling at Princeton University.
In the men’s ski modified superpipe competition, the three American stars who swept last year’s podium — Alex Ferreira of Aspen, Aaron Blunck of Crested Butte and David Wise of Nevada — are invited back, as is Winter Park up-and-coming star Birk Irving, Noah Bowman of Canada and Nico Porteous of New Zeland.
For the women’s competition, the Estonian star Sildaru is also invited to compete, as is reigning champion Rachel Karker and runner-up Cassie Sharpe, both of Canada; Brita Sigourney of California; and Kexin Zhang and Eileen Gu of China.
The Dew Tour also announced invited athletes for its Streetstyle competition. In year’s past, during Dew Tour’s 11 years at Breckenridge Ski Resort, Streetstyle took place in downtown Breckenridge at the intersection of Main Street and Washington Avenue. The Dew Tour has not announced details on where this year’s Streetstyle competition would take place.
For men’s ski streetstyle, Dew Tour has invited Antti Ollila, Phil Casabon, Magnus Graner, Will Wesson, Khai Krepela, LJ Streno, Keegan Kilbride, Alex Hackel, Jake Mageau and Alex Bellemare.
And for men’s snowboard streetstyle, Dew Tour has invited Never Summer rider Dylan Alito of Evergreen, Darcy Sharpe, Rinnekangas, Brandon Davis, Jesse Paul, Nate Haust, Pat Fava, Ozzy Henning, Frank Bourgeois and Johnny O’Conner.
Dew Tour this year will again host its Team Challenge competition. The contest asks three of the top ski and snowboard brands to build a team consisting of one male and one female for slopestyle, modified superpipe and streetstyle disciplines for a total of six riders per team.
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Those opting for the spring, like Aspen and Basalt, will begin football practice Feb. 25 and start playing games March 11.