Only two points separated overall season leader Iouri Podladtchikov from defending Dew Cup champ Louie Vito heading into Saturday's Winter Dew Tour championships.
In the end, Vito won the men's snowboard Pipe Finals with his score of 98.00, increasing his lead with the highest score ever to take home the Dew Cup at the Toyota Championships, held Saturday at Utah's Snowbasin Resort. I-Pod finished second with 97.00.
"I-Pod’s riding so well, he’s so consistent and he definitely pushes me every time I snowboard," Vito said. "So it was nice to be one and two with him going into the final stop, because it made me make sure I was on my game and he definitely brought it for sure."
But Vito answered back in his winning run with a double crippler, double Michalchuk, front double 10, cab double 10, front 10 to end with a cab 7.
Up at the top of the pipe, as the last rider to go, I-Pod had one more shot at taking over the top spot.
"It was really interesting up there," I-Pod said. "I was like, 98, alright, what the hell am I going to do now."
He responded with a Double McTwist, front double, Cab double, front 10 into a Cab 10. While perfectly executed, it wasn't enough to take the win.
"I’m really happy with my run," I-Pod said. "It’s kind of a long pipe and it’s really under vert, so I was trying to fix a new run together. And it really worked out for me. Louie taking it in the end, I’ll give it to him. But the battle is on."
Results after the first round saw Vito leading over I-Pod (94.75 to 93.00) with one run left for each. After an amazing first run, Trevor Jacob was sitting in third at the end first heat, while rocking a sweet Star Wars-esque full face helmet for extra confidence while boosting his massive airs.
Second round highlights included an amazing run from Spencer Shaw, which included his first ever frontside 14 halfway through, and let him take over the third place position from Jacob and finish on top of the podium.
"That was the first time I’ve ever done that run and a 14," Shaw said. "My heart was pounding so hard at the top of the pipe, and it all worked out, I’m so excited. I’ve never tried it before. Right before I dropped in, my coach was like, ‘Why don’t you try that?’ and I was like, ‘Ok,’ and I dropped in and it worked out well."
For Vito, it was back-to-back Dew Cups after he pulled it off again this season.
"I got two seconds and what do they say? I was the bridesmaid and never the bride, or something like that," Vito said. "I get tired of being second. I’m stoked to be consistent but I wanted to at least get on top of the podium this year. I did and what better place than where I’m living now in Utah, at the Toyota Championships, to walk away with the Dew Cup."
1. Louie Vito 98.00
2. Iouri Podladtchikov 97.00
3. Spencer Shaw 90.00
4. Trevor Jacob 88.00
5. Zachary Black 86.00
6. Ben Ferguson 83.50
7. Jack Mitrani 81.50
8. Mason Aguirre 80.00
9. Kyle Mack 73.75
10. Paul Brichta 70.00
11. Ben Watts 67.00
12. Scotty Pike 63.00
Louie Vito and Jack Mitrani
Louie Vito and Iouri Podladtchikov