On 22 January 2011, the best freeriders in the world will know if their rigorous training and mental preparation leading up to the first event of the Freeride World Tour (FWT) season has paid off when they drop in and give it their all at the Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch.
Chamonix Mont-Blanc is the world's unofficial capital of Freeriding. Its unrivalled steeps, tree lines and powder prove irresistible year in year out to the world's freeride community. It comes as no surprise therefore that on 22 January, Chamonix Mont-Blanc will host the opening event of the FWT's fourth season, which this year gets bigger and better with a series of six events.
The world’s top 52 freeriders will be tackling the spectacular "Pentes de l’Hôtel" face at the Brévent ski area. The elite field includes 2010 Freeride World Champions Candide Thovex (FRA, men ski), Aline Bock (GER, women snowboard) and Xavier de Le Rue (FRA, men snowboard). Other big name riders include Henrik Windstedt (SWE, men ski), local and former world champion Aurelien Ducroz (FRA, men ski) and the indomitable JT Holmes (USA, men ski). French freeskiing phenomenon Candide Thovex comments: "For 2011 my objective is to defend my title. I’ll be under a lot of pressure but more than anything else I’ll be competing on the Freeride World Tour because it's something I really enjoy and that’s how I improve".
During the same weekend as the elite level FWT competition, the first of three Junior freeride competitions in 2011 will also take place - Freeride Juniors de Chamonix Mont-Blanc by Dakine. This new event provides young riders in two different age categories - 12-14 and 15-17 - with the unique opportunity to compete, meet and learn from pro-riders and grow their overall awareness of mountain safety.
There’s a whole lot more happening over the course of a Freeride World Tour weekend than just the competitions. Other features include a contest village, street fair, prize giving ceremonies, freeride film nights, rider autograph sessions, freeride with a pro and of course the official FWT party.