1st day and 1st event in the Freeride World Tour
Fri 23 January 09
Day 1 of the long awaited first stage of the Freeride World Tour 2009, the Nissan Russian Adventure, took place today in the Krasnaya Polyana resort near Sochi in Russia, the site for the 2014 Olympic Games
Day 1 of the long awaited first stage of the Freeride World Tour 2009, the Nissan Russian Adventure, took place today in the Krasnaya Polyana resort near Sochi in Russia, the site for the 2014 Olympic Games.
Everything was perfect to make this event a success, large amounts of fresh snow, blue skies with no clouds in sight and riders ready to take on an impressive face for the first competition of the season.
Visible from just about everywhere, there were 4 starting points at the summit of the ski area offering various choices in runs from open runs, rocky terrain, cornices and cliff jumps. After having accomplished the first section with a bit of sluff (small surface snow movement that can make it difficult to remain steady), there was an area of rolling hills that provided a playground for their creativity with jump options and line choices where all 56 riders were able to reveal their talent.
The face required a lot of preparation from the security team comprised of mountain guides. In the last few days, there was major snowfall at the starting points on the crest which created massive cornices. “Our work modified the terrain a bit revealing icy areas notably when we cleared some high-risk zones” said Stephane Dan. “The last inspection between 8:15 and 9:15 is so important that it is essential to win. There were numerous riders that were waiting for the last visual confirmation before making their tactical decisions even after discussions with other riders during the Riders’ Meeting conducted by the mountain guides Wednesday night.”
Eric Themel (AUT) leads the men’s snowboard competition. Raising the standards high for the competitors to follow, Eric traced a magnificent line with perfect execution even with the sluff and mastered his jumps. On the second half of the run, he chose a unusual line through trees that no other rider attempted with perfect control, power and absolute fluidity.
Cyril Neri (SUI) proclaimed that he was riding for pleasure rather than put himself under the pressure of the competition; and this mind-set worked well for this 3-time winner of the Verbier Xtreme who was present thanks to a Wild Card. He had a fluid start even with a grab on two hanging cliffs and a spectacular jump near the bottom of the technical area. He then performed a back flip on a natural pipe which attests to his remarkable creativity on all terrains which leaves Eric leading only by a thread.
Annina Karvinen (FIN) ranks first of the women’s snowboard competition, she chose a difficult line and performed well which attests to her rapid progression. Close behind, Nathalie Zenklusen (SUI) headed down the slope with no hesitation and a perfect line; just a slight lack of speed made the difference.
Reigning World Champion of the Freeride World Tour 2008, Ruth Leisibach (SUI) unfortunately was injured while training the day before the competition.
Fri 23 January 09, Aspen Buttermilk, USA
Rice received 78% of the votes with his backside-double-cork 1080 in defeating last year's gold medalist Torstein Horgmo. Read and watch highlights
Fri 23 January 09, Aspen Buttermilk, USA
Jenny Jones flys through the slopestyle elimination round, and Torah Bright and Kelly Clark make easy work of the halfpipe qualifications
Sat 24 January 09, Aspen Buttermilk, USA
The gold-medal clinching run came in Bright’s second pass with moves that included a switch-back 720 that brought the Buttermilk Mountain crowd to their feet
Sat 24 January 09
Sam Cullum, Zoe Gillings, Lesley McKenna, Kate Foster, Dom Harrington and Ben Kilner were all in action in Gangwon, Korea at the FIS World Snowboard Cross Championships
Sun 25 January 09, Aspen Buttermilk, USA
In a total repeat of last years results, A 4th consecutive gold for Nate Holland and a 2nd Lindsey Jacobellis. UK's Zoe Gillings gets 11th.
20-25 January 09
The 2009 tour starts in the Russian resort of Sochi