Riddle solves Dew Tour freeskiing field
Sun News Service
BRECKENRIDGE and#8212; After falling hard on his first run, Mike Riddle was buried toward the bottom of the standings of Saturday night’s freeski halfpipe
finals in Breckenridge. Being the third-to-last skier to drop on the second run, he had a decision to make.
and#8220;You have to decide if you’re going to play it safe or if you’re going to send it,and#8221; he said afterward. and#8220;I guess I chose to send it.and#8221;
The run he laid down, which included a double flip, two 900s and an alley oop 360 flatspin, sent him right to the top of the Dew Tour podium, narrowly edging out Kiwi Jossi Wells.
and#8220;I was pretty nervous, that’s for sure,and#8221; Riddle said of his thoughts before
the winning run. and#8220;I knew I had a run that could win if I did it good. and#8220;… It can’t be a better start (to the season), so happy right now.and#8221;
Riddle’s run was certainly the highlight of what started out as a pretty sloppy final.
Only one skier, Wells, was able to even land a run on his first trip down Breck’s Peak 8 pipe. Under the lights, and with hundreds of fans surrounding the finish area, it seemed the pressure of the year’s first major competition was getting to the athletes.
and#8220;Yeah, I think it was just nerves,and#8221; Wells said of the other rider’s troubles. and#8220;… I just wanted to land a solid run and then step it up for my second one.and#8221;
And that’s exactly what the 19-year-old did, stomping a double flip on his first hit and cruising down the pipe with ease.
Wells’s first-run score of 84.75 stood until midway through the second run, when it was topped by, well, Wells, who improved his score up to a 91.5 with an impressive run that included the same double flip followed by a switch 900 midway down.
France’s Xavier Bertoni, the reigning X Games champ, came close to topping Wells three skiers later, but his score of 90.75 came up just short. Then Riddle put together the winning run.
and#8220;Jossi killed it too. We had pretty close to the same run, just the bottom was a different,and#8221; said Riddle, who nailed his signature alley-oop and#8220;bwarrow,and#8221; as he called it, for the final hit.
The 23-year-old Canadian did have to sweat out the runs of a couple heavy
hitters. But when neither Justin Dorey or the high-flying Simon Dumont could land clean runs, he was the winner.
and#8220;It’s a great start to the year,and#8221; Riddle said. and#8220; … Hopefully, I can keep it up and just keep the good times rolling.and#8221;
Bertoni wound up in third, while countryman Kevin Rolland was fourth. Dorey was fifth, and Dumont had to settle for sixth.
and#8220;It was crazy,and#8221; Wells said of the level of skiing. and#8220;We had the best halfpipe skiers in the world here. It was great just to watch.and#8221;