Double cork leads to double win for Davis
Summit County, Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE — After Friday’s preliminary round, Danny Davis wasn’t sure of what to expect from Saturday’s men’s halfpipe final at the Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge. He said most riders had a hard time adjusting to Breck’s 18-foot pipe, which is 4 feet shorter than the Olympic standard used in most contests this season. The tricks had been mellower and the runs a little more basic, Davis said.
He must not have been talking about himself.
Putting together a first run that consisted of two cab 1080 double corks, Davis earned the highest score in Dew Tour history and ran away with his second straight title at the Breck stop of the Dew.
“I was doing them double-corking, and it started getting flatter and flatter,” he said of the run. “I was just glad that I landed them.”
And Davis’s show-stopping run – which earned him a whopping 96.5 points – pretty much took the drama out of the rest of the afternoon, as riders tried to huck their biggest tricks in a seemingly impossible game of follow the leader.
“I was glad, because I sealed up some sort of spot right away,” he said. “It’s nice to get it out of the way early.”
His double corks also set the tone for the rest of the field as to what the judges were waiting to see.
At last week’s U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Shaun White and Louie Vito battled it out with throwing their own double cork tricks. But this week, most riders tended to shy away from the double-flipping maneuver because of the smaller pipe. Actually, many of the top riders, including White and Vito, simply stayed away from Breck altogether this week because of the 4-foot difference.
Saturday, though, the riders weren’t holding back anything.
Swiss rider Iouri Podlachikov nailed a double cork 1080 in his first run, earning a 91.25, eventually good for second place.
Throughout the day, a total of nine double corks were attempted, only a few of which were landed, and the field was never able to close the gap that Davis set early on.
Olympian and 2002 gold medalist J.J Thomas wound up third at 84.75. The veteran rider, who also finished fourth last week at Copper, didn’t use any flips to wow the judges. His run simply consisted of some high-flying spins and grabs.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of that this winter,” Thomas said in regards to people leaving out the flips. “Some people think you need the double cork to get top three, but you’re going to see so many guys do what I did today.”
And for Thomas, that meant climbing onto a podium on his home hill. The Golden native trains and rides out of Breck.
“Breck is my home mountain, this is my home pipe, so a podium here is way bigger than had it been anywhere else,” he said.
Minnesota’s Mason Aguirre, an Olympian in 2006, was fourth.
Then, two more Breck riders were next in the standings.
The veteran, two-time X Games champ Steve Fisher was fifth despite a training injury earlier this week, and 19-year-old Zack Black was sixth.
“I almost broke my face on Sunday, so I was riding a little safe,” Fisher said. ” … Danny Davis had a great run. Everyone rode well, especially with the transition from 22- to 18-foot pipes.”
Scotty Lago, one of the favorites heading into the finals, was unable to land either run and ended up last in 12th place.
As for Davis, who decided to compete at the last minute before Friday’s prelim, he couldn’t have been happier with the way things played out.
“It was definitely a good idea,” he said of not skipping the event. ” … It’s way cool, man. It’s way better than losing.”
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