"I actually broke my nose in three places in Breckenrigde and Killington. In both stops I had a really bad slam," Iouri explained . "I broke it in Breck and it wasn't really bothering me that much because it healed really quick. But then after Killington, I couldn't breathe really well throughout X Games. So when I came home I went to check it and they said, 'Yeah you have to have surgery right away. I was in the hospital 'til Wednesday, and I have to go to Oslo as well, so I was really like, 'Can I really do this, can I come out here?'"
After his second place finish on the big stage at the X Gameslast month, many were expecting IPod to pull off the win and claim the overall Dew Tour Champion title. But Louie, who fell in all his runs at the X Games trying to pull off a run with four double corks in a row, was not going down without a fight. His first run was perfectly executed but still did not include the four doubles. Nevertheless, the judges gave him a 94.44 for his smooth style and big spins.
With Iouri pre-qualified in first due to his win in Killington, he would drop last. After seeing Louie's first run, IPod knew what he had to do. He dropped in and right away threw his Double McTwist 12 on the first hit, deviating from his usual run. He followed that by two more Doubles Corks, then a Front inverted Five into a Method into a Frontside 720, but it wasn't quite enough to top Louie. The judges scored him a 93 on his first run, so it would be up to his second run if he was going to take the win and the title.
In fitting fashion, it would be up to the last run to decide the winner. Louie was determined to stick the run he wanted clean, and made snowboarding history by putting down four Double Corks in a row on his second run to earn the highest score in Dew Tour history - a 98!
"I was concentrating for my run, I can't watch anyone just before me," Iouri said. "I just heard the score of 98 and I knew I had to step it up. And I tried, I pulled out three Double Corks and went straight into a ten combo, which I've never done before, but I had to go for something in the end."
IPod Backside Double McTwist 1260 on his first hit. Photo: Alli Sports.
The something he went for was a Backside Double Cork 12, Cab Double 10, Front Double 10 into a 10 combo: Front 10 to Cab 10. It was huge, flawless and a run that IPod had never done before, but again it fell one point short in the judges eyes. Iouri ended up with a 97 and had to settle for second place, on this podium and in the overall standings. But considering all the circumstances, it was a huge victory nonetheless...
"The pipe was a little undervert, so I had to put all my big tricks up top," Iouri described. "I couldn't go as big here as at X Games, it definitely was a more narrow pipe and a more tricky one. I wouldn't call it my best run, but overall it was a good practice. We're rolling into a huge event over in Oslo, Norway, which is the first official TTR World championships. I'm really exciting about my own riding today, and after coming off of surgery on Monday and three days in the hospital this week, I'm feeling strong. So Louie better watch out, haha."
For more photos, check out vanssnow.tumblr.com.
Jamie Anderson, Cheryl Maas and Aimee Fuller. Photo: ©alexpapis.
On the other side of the pond, Cheryl Maas and Vans UK rider Aimee Fuller ended up on the podium in the second and third spots, respectively, behind venerable first place finisher Jamie Anderson. Cheryl qualified in first place going into the finals. According to Roxy, "The level of riding was set high from the start and Jamie was going head to head with Cheryl Maas. Cheryl put forth a valiant effort, but her best run of a switch 50/50, switch backside 180, backside 720 tail grab, frontside 360 tail grab, 50/50 to switch backside 50/50 wasn't good enough to beat Jamie
Anderson." For more info, check out roxylive.com.
Cheryl Maas. Photo: ©alexpapis
Aimee Fuller. Photo: ©alexpapis
Congratulations to Iouri, Cheryl and Aimee on their competitive spirit and success, and good luck to all our riders heading into the TTR World Championships in Olso, Norway this week...
Words and photos: Larry Nuñez, except where noted.