Friday, February 13, 2009

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Freeride

This weekend, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc will host one of the 11 Freeride World Qualifier events (FWQ). The Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) are independent competitions, 11 this winter, that take place in Europe and in the United States, that are validated by the Pro Freeriders Board that represents the athletes. These qualifying stages complete the 4 Freeride World Tour (FWT) events for which the world’s best athletes are selected by their ranking (like in ATP tennis). The ‘Qualifiers’ allow riders from around the globe to be ranked in the Freeride World Ranking (FWR). With this point system, winning a FWQ is like placing 7th of a FWT event, so even riders qualified for the FWT come to earn points at FWQ events!. These events are a true opportunity for young talented riders to qualify for the Freeride World Tour thus competing against the world’s best!
The Freeride de Chamonix will take place on the Pentes de l'Hôtel. Situated in the Brévent ski area in the ‘Aiguilles Rouges’ facing the impressive Mont Blanc mountains, the Pentes de l’Hôtel’ are very popular among freeriders. This eastern facing slope is around 500 vertical meters, very technical thus allows skiers and snowboards to reveal their talent. An ideal spot for the public as well since you can see the competition form the Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc village set up at the base of the slope. Of course since there are many people on winter holiday, there will be lots of spectators to cheer on the riders.
Another option has of course been planned, according to weather and security conditions, in Flégère (still in the "Aiguilles Rouges") on the "Aiguille Pourrie": "We will decide which is the best option depending on the conditions at that time", explains Jerome Ruby, mountain guide and security manager for the event. "Both faces are really great and have lots of features for every riding style".
Each participant goes down the slope one after the other. How they get from point A to B is their choice. The run is judged by a panel of judges the foot of the slope. One score is given for overall impression for each rider. To evaluate the athletes, the judges use a 10-point system from 1.0 to 10.0. Among the aspects evaluated, line choice, fluidity and control are the criteria that guide the judges in their overall impression.
In case of bad weather on the Sunday 15th, the contest can be postponed to the first sunny day between the 16th and the 19th included