More than six thousand spectators watched the world’s best freeride skiers and snowboarders take on the impressive 600 vertical metre face of the Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland, for the Nissan Xtreme by Swatch. The women athletes were first down the mountain.
After the competition Norwegian Ane Enderud in Ski and German Aline Bock in Snowboard were crowned Freeride World Tour Champions 2010.
Norwegian skier Ane Enderud was the winner at Verbier to confirm her leadership, defending her title from last year, with Jess McMillan taking second. "I am obviously super happy with this result, after the disappointing start of the season when I had to cancel the Chamonix contest because of back problems. I just can’t believe I am on top! I got a bit lost and changed my line choice when I skied it and I was stoked to take the big cliff jump and land it clean without having inspected it before hand", said Ane Enderud.
Double Olympic silver medallist Julia Mancuso had an impressive first experience of freeride competitions, being the fastest women down the mountain and taking third. "It was tough on top – it is the first time I skied such technical and steep skiing this year and the first time I skied on these skis. I followed J.T. Holmes (FWT athlete ski) advice not to stall before taking the jump and I got so much speed I missed some features in the end. There are a lot of similarities with downhill – you need to have a very high confidence level, go fast and fluid. I was here to have fun and challenge myself and I am happy I made it down without falling! It is such a cool face".
Shannan Yates, American newcomer to the Freeride World Tour, won the women’s snowboard on the Bec des Rosses, with German Aline Bock taking second, giving her the World Champion title after four nice podiums this season. "We were so lucky with the weather in the morning. The Bec des Rosses welcomed us with sunshine and very good conditions, which we had not expected. Starting with the golden bib, leading the Freeride World Tour, gave me a lot of confidence. I chose to go for the windlip and I had fun jumping some other cliffs, while the run felt very fluent. To be second at such an event and then finally to be the World Champion is an unbelievable feeling", said Aline.
Due to poor visibility, the competition was stopped for the men before the last seven athletes were able to go down the face. For the men the competition is therefore postponed to a later date this coming week as soon as there is a weather window. The last possible day is Sunday 28 March.