It was a winning weekend for the Vans Team at the Winter Dew Tour stop in Killington, Vermont, as team riders Eric Willett and Iouri "IPod" Podladtchikov took 1st place in both Snowboard Slopestyle and Superpipe. After the first stop on the tour in Breckenridge, Colorado, both riders were coming into this event looking for a little redemption. Willett failed to make the podium in Breckenridge, while IPod suffered a hard crash in the finals and ended up in third place. But Vermont was a different story, as Eric and IPod were ready to throw down the runs that would take home the trophy.
The weather leading up to the finals didn't make it easy though, with rainfall sandwiched between cold fronts that hindered practice and deteriorated course conditions. This was followed by a cold, windy snow storm, which softened things up a bit, but also made for blustery gusts of wind that sent mini tornados of snow up the Superpipe. One of these gusts caught IPod in mid air during practice on Friday, blew him off course and once again he smashed his face into the hard, icy flat bottom. With blood gushing from his nose and cuts on his chin, IPod had to be taken down in a stretcher and it looked like he might be done at this contest. But just two days later, Iouri came back with a vengeance and put down the run that won it all: Cab 7, Crippler, Back Double McTwist 12, Front 10, and Cab 10.
Photo: The Dew Tour.
Slopestyle for Eric was on Saturday, but unlike IPod, Eric was not pre-qualified for the finals and had to do semi finals on Friday. That didn't seem to phase him as he threw down a monster run that ended up qualifying him in first place. Eric took that momentum with him into the finals on Saturday, and put down the winning combo on his first run. He brought his A-Game to the snowy slopestyle course with a Frontside 270 Boardslide, gap to Frontside Lipslide 270 and Backslide Lipslide 180 out. Then it was a tightly-spaced triple jump line combo of Switch Backside 1080 Double Cork, Cab 900 Double, into a Frontside 1080 Double. No one else could come close to Eric's score until Sebastien Toutant's final run of Cab 900 Double Cork, to Front 1080 Double to Back 1080 double on the jumps. The riders waited anxiously together at the bottom of the course for the numbers to come, but Eric's 91.00 was enough to hold off Seb's 85.5, who ended up in second place.
Congratulations to both Eric and IPod; the wins were a great way to prepare for this weekend's upcoming X Games. Watch the video of both rider's winning runs above and below, and see more photos from the weekend on vanssnow.tumblr.com.
IPod blasting in practice.