Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2013 (FWT) concluded today. Mont Blanc created a dramatic background to the competition at La Flégère ski area on the Aiguille Pourrie face. Riders were treated to perfect weather with a cloudless sky. As this stop marks the halfway point of the 2013 Freeride World Tour season the pressure was on for riders to perform their best in pursuit of the first ever true world champion title.
The men’s snowboard competition kicked off the day with Chamonix, France local Jonathan Charlet taking the win with a score of 90.33. Charlet had a fluid run starting with two nice features at the top and concluding with a gigantic air at the bottom of the venue. He added a final element of style to the end of his run with a 360 rotation. "I am very happy with my run. I felt a lot of pressure this morning competing at home with all my friends and family coming to see me. I competed here three years ago and rode a similar line. I stomped my airs and felt my run was fluid. Even more importantly, I had a lot of run riding", said Charlet at the bottom of his run.
Following Charlet on the snowboard podium, Ralph Backstrom from Squaw Valley, USA, had a very solid run creatively linking a series of features together. Backstrom earned a score of 88.00 and is currently leading the men’s snowboard division. Rounding out the men’s podium with a score of 76.33 from Mount Baker, USA, Sammy Luebke impressed the judges with his speed as he jetted down the looker’s right side of the competition venue.
Topping the men’s skiing field with a dynamite run was Drew Tabke of Crystal Mountain, Washington, USA with a score of 91.67. Tabke charged out of the starting gate and straight down the fall line. He maintained incredible speed as he launched off a huge cliff at the end of the technical section of the venue. Tabke sealed his win with a huge crowd-pleasing 360 rotation at the end of his run. Tabke also took the title at the Revelstoke competition earlier this season and is the current leader of the men’s division. "It is a huge honor for me to win this stop in Chamonix as this is such a special part of the Freeride World Tour and a lovely place to be. I'm so lucky to win because the level of the skiers this winter is outstanding", noted Tabke.
Fabio Studer of Silvretta Montafon, Austria earned second place in the men’s ski competition with much finesse and a score of 87.00. Studer started his run with a 360 off a feature near the top and then managed a left-side 720 in a very technical section of the venue. Third place in the men’s ski competition went to Willie Lindberg of Riksgransen, Sweden with a score of 84.33. Lindberg skied very fast down looker’s left starting with a huge huck right out of the start and cleanly linking two airs.
After a few weeks off, the women were well rested and ready to for the day’s competition. The 2012 Overall Freeride World Tour Women’s Ski Champion Christine Hargin of Ramundberget, Sweden has managed back-to-back wins after taking another win today. Hargin already holds the Revelstoke title as well. She skied a very fast run with a nice air at the top. She consistently demonstrated her athleticism and power throughout her run as she cruised down the looker’s left side of the venue. "I'm very happy with my run and the first place on the podium! I was riding exactly the line I wanted. The competitive level amongst the girls is very high and I have to try hard to win. I'm looking forward for Kirkwood", exclaimed Hargin.
Hargin is joined on the women’s podium by Nadine Wallner of Arlberg Austria who scored 72.33 and Pia Nic Gundersen of Anstadblaheia, Norway with a score of 70.67.
Laura Dewey had a string of bad travel luck upon arriving in Chamonix less than 24-hours before the competition due to a delayed flight. Nonetheless, she managed to take the women’s snowboard title even though she was riding on borrowed gear due to lost luggage. Dewey had a very solid and clean run, which linked many features together throughout the venue. Her run earned a winning score of 70.00. "It is unbelievably awesome to have won today’s competition and I am so happy to be here in Chamonix. Although I have only been here a short while I am having such a fantastic time here and look forward to enjoying these prolific mountains", commented Laura Dewey upon completing her run.
Margot Rozies of Pyrenees, France scored 69.00 for a second place finish. And finally, Aline Bock from Germany, executed a smooth run which was rewarded with a 57.33 score for the third place finish.
"This has been a fantastic day in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc with progressive riding down the north face of Aiguille Pourrie", said Freeride World Tour General Manager Nicolas Hale-Woods. "The weather was perfect and we have seen amazing riding today both with the pros and also with the juniors who competed on another venue at the same time for the first stop of the Freeride Juniors by Dakine. Freeriding was at its best today and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc demonstrated why it is the Mecca of the sport".
The Swatch Freeride World Tour 2013 By The North Face continues its competition schedule in Kirkwood, California, USA on February 27th