Dumont unbeatable at Snowmass Honda Ski Tour
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colorado — With Tanner Hall nowhere in sight, it appeared to be Simon Dumont’s day to shine. And that it was. Dumont dominated The Honda Ski Tour skier halfpipe competition Saturday, turning in the two highest-scored runs to take top honors, with Mike Riddle second and Colby West third.
Hall, winner of the Breckenridge stop of the tour, did not compete, Dumont took command of the season standings. He also won the tour stop in Sun Valley and was second in Breckenridge.
“I wanted more than just to win today,” Dumont said. “I wanted to land everything and have people say, that this was the best halfpipe run they saw this year. If people don’t believe it yet, then come to Squaw Valley; because I’m gonna throw down something even better. I’m going to do whatever it takes. I want to be remembered when people talk about halfpipe skiing. I’m really doing it for the crowd and for our sport. And now that I’ve matched the highest score in halfpipe, my goal is to break it.”
Stanley Hayer won the skiercross event at Snowmass the previous day.
The second competition day of The Honda Ski Tour weekend was sunny and snowy with 10 new inches of fresh powder on the slopes.
After a morning of qualifiers, Dumont, Riddle, John Symms and Stephan Thomas looked bound to be atop the podium. Thomas, known for his technical halfpipe skiing, nailed the qualifiers all morning but had some mistakes during his first-run finals.
“Next run I definitely want to go bigger,” Thomas said, sitting in fourth after the first run.
Riddle, a 6-foot, 175-pound Canadian halfpiper, told the crowd that he was looking for redemption on Saturday. While he was excited to be in Aspen, he wanted nothing more than the gold.
When event favorite Dumont nailed a solid first run with alley-oops and 900’s, he told the screaming crowd, “Don’t leave for second run because I’ve got much more up my sleeve!”
During the second run, more fans gathered, The Honda Ski Tour cheerleaders (literally) cheered and reporters soaked up the sun while halfpipe finalists plotted how they were going to walk away with prize money.
JL Ratchel, a French competitor, railed down the pipe while French hip-hop was being blared on the loudspeakers. Even though Ratchel had a blip with a hand drag during the middle of his run, he was still all smiles to be in the States competing in such an event. Swede Niklas Karlstrom also made the long journey for The Ski Tour. Karlstrom is a halfpipe legend in his hometown of Are — home of the 2007 alpine World Championships — and is trying to break into the American ski scene, where people fly higher, go bigger, and well, win more money.
Next came Sean Field, with his curly red hair flying alongside his skis as he grabbed a huge 540 into an alley-oop, into a 500 finishing with a 900 into an alley-oop. Because the judges didn’t see a grab on his 900, Field finished fifth, showing a serious look of disappointment on his face. But after the competition, with fans requesting his autograph, Field seemed to brush off the defeat just fine.
Next came Riddle, second after the first run. He started his descent into the halfpipe with a huge 540 and a nose grab. This really got fans going and Riddle came screeching into the finish in second place.
“Everything went my way today,” Riddle said. “Some of the things I had trouble with the first run just really came together during this second run.”
Throwing down big air during the second run, West grabbed third for the day, while Symms slipped into fourth.
“I always get third!” West said, laughing. “Third in the X Games … I’m happy though.”
With all competitors down, taking the best out of two runs, it was official that Dumont took home the gold. And the $25,000. In the finish arena with all of his screaming fans, Dumont ended the day with a victory lap, showing his tricks once again to all those chasing him this season.
“You know, today everything went my way and I did it UP!” Dumont yelled in the finish. “I just want to thank the tour for having us. Aspen is awesome and I’m celebrating tonight.”
Dumont scored the highest mark in halfpipe history with a 97.50.
The Ski Tour season finals are set for March 8-11 at Squaw Valley, California. But don’t worry, it will be back next season. At least that’s what the athletes are hoping for.
“The Ski Tour is awesome!” Dumont said. “The opportunity is priceless.”
The Honda Ski Tour
Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado (third of four events)
Skier halfpipe final results
FINALS RESULT ATHLETE NAME COUNTRY RUN 1 RUN 2 BEST
1 Simon Dumont USA 92.75 97.50 97.50
2 Mike Riddle CAN 85.75 90.75 90.75
3 Colby West USA 22.50 83.50 83.50
4 John Symms USA 79.50 79.50 79.50
5 Sean Field USA 68.00 77.50 77.50
6 Stefan Thomas USA 75.50 67.75 75.50
7 Peter Olenick USA 21.75 72.25 72.25
8 Niklas Karlstrom SWE 68.50 27.00 68.50
9 Taylor Felton USA 67.75 35.25 67.75
10 JL Ratchel FRA 34.75 58.00 58.00
11 Charlie Lasser USA 55.25 57.75 57.75
12 Justin Dorey CAN 46.25 50.00 50.00