Xavier de le Rue wins the Nissan Freeride Tignes

Sun 09 March 08

On a perfect day, 43 of the worlds best freeriders delivered top class action on the north face of Pramecou for the Nissan Freeride de Tignes, the fourth contest of the Freeride World Tour

Xavier de le Rue wins the Nissan Freeride Tignes

Xavier de le Rue wins the Nissan Freeride Tignes ©

On a perfect day, 43 of the world’s best freeriders delivered top class action on the north face of Pramecou for the Nissan Freeride de Tignes, the fourth contest of the Freeride World Tour. In fast compact, snow, the astounded spectators witnessed impressive speed and riders stomping some spectacular cliff drops. Now, only one contest remains to crown the first ever Freeride World Champions, at the Nissan O’Neill Xtreme de Verbier in Switzerland next weekend.

The male snowboarders were first to take on the 400 meter long face. With two pretty intimidating starting options, the riders had first to rappel into the face before starting their run at around 45 degrees steep. For the snowboarders, two runs were particularly standing out, first and second placed riders Xavier de le Rue (France) and Alex Coudray (Switzerland). Former boarder cross World Champion Xavier de le Rue is well known forripping down the mountain at great speed, which he proved today again, at a technical run with committed cliff drops, including a double drop at the second part of the run. “It was really cool today. A good face with very fast riding. I chose to execute a technical run and go for it and it worked out!” said the stoked Frenchman, who is now leading the ranking of the Freeride World Tour with only one contest to go.

The male skiers took the riding to an impressive level today. The compact, fast snow was easier to handle for the skiers, charging down the mountain controlling great speed and taking big air. Famous skier cross and freerider Enak Gavaggio was judging the skiers, as he was injured at the X-Games earlier this winter: “The standard is so high. It was really tight between the first 10 riders, making it difficult for us to judge!”

The Argentinean Estanislao Vasiuk pulled off a perfect front flip flying almost 20 metres at the intimidating start of the run and finished ninth. That shows the level. Swede Henrik Windstedt and Frenchman Seb Michaud have been standing out for the entire season of the Freeride World Tour. Today again they proved to be the most impressive riders, Henrik Windstedt taking first place and Seb Michaud second. Both skied fast without an ounce of hesitation in difficult lines clearing every landing of big drops. “I cannot believe I did it again!” said the happy Swede, who had still not totally recovered from a week of the flu, and who missed the mountain inspection yesterday as he was travelling from Sweden.

Bérangère Moroc secured a French female snowboard victory. The French snowboarder entered the Freeride World Tour in the Qualifying Series and is now climbing the ranking of the entire Tour.
Alaskan Elyse Saugstad took a well earned first place of the female skiers with a stable, fast run down the face.

The Grand Finale: Nissan O’Neill Xtreme de Verbier, 15 March (reserve days 14-23 March)
The Freeride World Champions will be crowned after the final contest, the prestigious Nissan O’Neill Xtreme Verbier on the mythical North Face of Bec des Rosses, in the heart of the resort of Verbier. 37 riders will compete in Verbier: 10 of the best ranked male skiers and snowboarders of the Freeride World Tour, five wild card skiers and two wild cards snowboard, and two of the best ranked female skiers and snowboarders, three wild cards skiers and two wild cards snowboard. Prize money is set at 100 000 USD
 

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Snowboard Guide rating 9 out of 10 “Snow sure, true boarders' moonscape Great all-round resort with something for everyone, no matter what your ability. However, watch out some for long lift queues and crowds during school holidays and weekends.”

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