Against the beautiful backdrop of the Mont-Blanc the Freeride World Tour 2010 kicked off in perfect weather conditions on the 500 metre “Pentes de l’Hôtel face at the Brévent ski area in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. The 50 best freeriders on the planet put on an amazing performance, showing the 3000 cheering spectators the top of their game on the committing face and challenging snow conditions. The most impressive run of the day was the clean victory of French freestyle legend Candide Thovex, debuting in freeride contests, announcing a promising future.
After the last few days’ of snowfall the blue skies finally presented a dream like arena for the athletes and spectators of the Nissan Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. However, the snow conditions where tricky for the competitors. A lot of the fresh powder was taken down by the first riders and parts of the face exposed rock hard snow, and at times ice. Control was decisive. First rider down, skier Julien Lopez of France set the tone with a spectacular line; steep, committing and clearing a massive cliff drop at the end (5th). Many variations and original lines followed.
The most consistent run among the snowboarders was Austrian Mitch Toelderer’s line, making an interesting line interpretation in the middle, steep section of the course, taking two solid airs towards the end. The Chamonix local Douds Charlet showed the international elite the local spice with two stylish jumps right at the start, with one clean “360 front side?, securing second. The only Briton on the line up, James Stentiford, had a very fluid and fast run, with full control down the icy part of the face, giving him the third place of the podium.
James Stentiford – 3rd Snowboard. “I was really nervous up top after the fall of Raphy (Gillioz/SUI – 4th rider that landed a cliff jump on a rock and broke his elbow) so I changed my line a bit. The landings where pretty harsh but it worked out really well for me. I am really happy to be on this podium as I live here and it is the third contest I have ever done!"
Reigning Freeride World Champion snowboarder Susan Mol (USA) had a convincing run down the face with an interesting line interpretation and fast controlled turns.
1- Mitch Toelderer AUT
2- Douds Charlet FRA
3- James Stentiford UK
1- Susan Mol USA
2- Nathalie Zenklusen SUI
3- Aline Bock GER