Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chamonix will be the Freeride Capital of the World in the next days

Chamonix will host two of the 4 Freeride World Tour events (FWT). Chamonix is probably the world’s most renowned alpine resort. Host of the first ever official Winter Olympics Games way back in 1924, skiers and snowboarders now come from all over the world to take on its vast range of steep "couloirs" against the backdrop of the Mont Blanc. When it comes to freeride locations few can rival Chamonix, so it’s no surprise that in 2010 it joins the tour as a main stop for the first time. FWT ski world champion Aurélien Ducroz, who was born and bred in Chamonix, will be the hometown favourite and looking to maximise points on the south facing Brevent.
Due to heavy snowfall and wind, the Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch was postponed and rescheduled in Chamonix. The Nissan Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is scheduled for Saturday, January 30th, and the Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch will take place the next possible day using the start list established in Sochi. Riders will meet in Chamonix for both events. The line up is as good as it gets with many interesting contenders for the Freeride World Champion 2010 title.
The Nissan Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc will offer the total prize money of USD 56,200 and the Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch prize money is set at USD 35,200. The season’s prize money grand total exceeds USD 200,000.
The Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 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.