NBC Sports and the Dew Tour have been trying since 2005 to give action sports a season-long arc that fans of more traditional sports can follow: Rather than a one-off annual competition like the X Games, Dew tour athletes accumulate points over a series of events, collecting statistics that mainstream sportswriters can keep track of and building toward Dew Cup trophies and big cash prizes in each event.
Not quite the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup, of course, but it's worked out pretty well for skateboarding and BMX; if you can only name one skateboarder in the world these days, it might be Ryan Sheckler or Chris Cole in place of Tony Hawk, thanks to the Dew Tour.
Last year, the tour expanded into winter events, with Breckenridge hosting the inaugural Winter Dew Tour competition for snowboarders and freeskiers. Now it's back for its sophomore run, today through December 20.
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Colorado Springs rockers OneRepublic are performing on Friday and Saturday night, but the real show will be on the slopes. With every Olympic hopeful still in Colorado following last week's U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, watch for fireworks in the halfpipe and slopestyle competitions. Olympic gold-medalists Shaun White and Kelly Clark added Dew Cups to their trophy cases last season and will be back for more, as will freeski frontrunners Tanner Hall and Per-Kristian Hunder.
To root for the home team, cheer for Breckenridge snowboard team rider Steve Fisher and freeskier Simon Dumont, a Keystone transplant from Maine. Both finished in second place overall in the halfpipe last year in their respective disciplines.
Spectating is free (or pay $100 for an Action Zone Pass); for information, visit www.allisports.com/tours/winter-dew-tour.
Dec. 18-20, 2009