Belorussian betters Belhumeur, Bergoust at Bumps & Jumps |

Belorussian betters Belhumeur, Bergoust at Bumps & Jumps

Canadian aerialist David Belhumeur raised the ante to a new level, but Belorussian Dmitri Dashinski was able to call, capping the best day of his career.

In the final jump-off of the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Bumps & Jumps Grand Prix finals at Heavenly Ski Resort on Friday, Dashinski answered Belhumeur’s near-perfect full double full full with one of his own. Only Dashinski’s was better – judges awarded the Belorussian a jaw-dropping 124.32 points, to 116.84 for Belhumeur. That jump alone won Dashinski $10,000, to go with $2,500 in prize money from sponsor John Paul Mitchell Systems, as well as a Chevy Trailblazer sport-utility vehicle.

“It’s the biggest day of my life,” Dashinski said after the competition where he captured the Bumps & Jumps Grand Prix aerials title and downed Belhumeur in the jump-off between the top two skiers in the final standings.

“I felt great today because I was in good shape,” he said. “I felt really good. I felt it was the best day of all my season.”

Canadian aerialist Nicolas Fontaine was the only skier to beat Dashinski in the finals, which shuttled high-flying skiers off Heavenly’s Launch Pad for nearly three hours. Fontaine collected $6,000 for first place on the podium in the finals, but could not make up the gap in the Grand Prix standings.

“This win for me means a lot of confidence for the rest of the season,” said Fontaine, second in the FIS Freestyle World Cup aerials standings – one spot ahead of Dashinski. The World Cup aerials schedule wraps Feb. 27 at Piancavallo, Italy.

Dashinski, who surpassed Belorussian teammate Alexei Girchin – the leader coming into Friday’s finals – also felt better about the remainder of the World Cup schedule. Friday’s finish gave him confidence.

“Now I feel I can be in the top three in the Grand Prix standings,” Dashinski said.

“When you land all the time, you just feel stronger and stronger after each jump,” he said.

American skier Eric Bergoust, a native of Missoula, Mont., entered Friday’s competition in fourth place, and made an improbable charge for the win. Bergoust skied conservatively while other skiers made mistakes.

“The first couple of rounds, all I was trying to do was just land because that’s what I needed to do to advance,” Bergoust said.

The situation almost played out exactly as Bergoust wanted it. He entered the day in fourth place in the Bumps & Jumps aerials standings, and needed series leader Alexei Grichin and Belhumeur to stumble. They did, giving Bergoust the opportunity.

“I was in a position to win,” said Bergoust, who launched himself into the finals with a 115.43 full full full in the elimination round. Since he completed his easiest jumps in the preliminaries to advance, he was the only jumper who rules allowed to try a difficult maneuver in the finals.

Bergoust could not land his final-round jump, a full double full full, cleanly enough to catch Dashinski or Fontaine. Bergoust finished with a 105.91 on the final jump. While the American skier still is looking forward to the inaugural Winter Goodwill Games Feb. 17-20 in Lake Placid, N.Y., his mood after the missed opportunity in Bumps & Jumps was dour.

“I’ll get excited about it tomorrow,” Bergoust said. “Right now, I’m a little depressed.”

The aerials competition wrapped a three-event season series and kicked off the final Bumps & Jumps weekend. Saturday’s moguls competition finished the series.


Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Bumps & Jumps

Aerials Finals

Friday, Heavenly Ski Resort

Skier Nat. Jump DD Total Score Final

Nicolas Fontaine CAN LdFF 4.20 29.60 124.32 124.32

Dmitri Dashinski BLR FFF 4.05 28.85 116.84 116.84

Eric Bergoust USA FdFF 4.45 23.80 105.91 105.91

Aerials Grand Prix Standings

Skier Nat. Copper L. Placid Heavenly GPX Total $

Dmitri Dashinski BLR 15 13 15 43 $5,300

David Belhumeur CAN 13 16 12 41 $8,100

Alexei Grichin BLR 16 14 9 39 $8,600

Nicolas Fontaine CAN 14 9 16 39 $8,600

Eric Bergoust USA 9 15 14 38 $4,400

Joe Pack USA 12 11 11 34 $3,450

Britt Swartley USA 11 10 10 31 $3,050

Steve Omischl CAN 23 13 25 $1,850

Brian Currutt USA 10 7 7 24 $2,400

Mariano Ferrario USA 8 8 16 $950

Christian Rijavec CZE 8 8 $950

Matt Chojnacki USA 7 7 $900

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