As the fifth and last event prior to the big season finale in Verbier, Switzerland next weekend, every rider who dropped into the 600-meter Wildseeloder face at the Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn by Nissan had something on the line. Some needed to score enough points to get an invitation to Verbier while those at the top of the ranking were going for the win in order to break into the lead for the overall title.
Faced with a long, demanding venue with less than perfect snow, today’s event was notable due to the riders who played it safe by focusing on fluid lines to preserve their position in the rankings. Others, on the other hand charged the course with everything they had in order to score the critical points that would boost them towards the top of the rankings.
The snowboard men were no less exciting with the Austrian locals pushing hard for the win. As the second snowboarder out of the gate, Mitch Toelderer (AUT) rode the course like a man possessed, with a run that started immediately out of the gate with a few smaller drops to landing a huge double jump clean and then taking a six-meter cliff drop with a slightly sketched landing. Coming in second place was another Austrian Max Zipser followed by the sole Englishman on the tour, James Stentiford, with his best finish of the season.
Mitch Toelderer (AUT): ”For an Austrian to win at Fieberbrunn for such an amazing audience, it was really special for me. Max [Zipser], Stefan [Hausl] and Hauni [Matthias Haunholder] and I all rode almost the same line and it was a really good decision, but in the beginning I was not sure. But I’m super happy that everything went as planned and that we decided to go on this spectacular line."
James Stentiford (UK): “I’m happy that I stayed on my feet all the way through the course and to be on the podium is better than I expected. It’s a great achievement for someone from the UK. Basically I decided yesterday to go skiers’ right because no one had chosen that line. I tried to stay fluid, keep my speed, I jumped over a few things and stayed on my feet.”
#1 Mitch Toelderer (AUT)
#2 Max Zipser (AUT)
#3 James Stentiford (UK)
#4 Flo Orley (AUT)
#5 Aurelien Routens (FRA)
#6 Raphael Bullet (SUI)
#7 Martin Cernik (CZE)
#8 Gennady Khryachkov (RUS)
#9 Xavier De Le Rue (FRA)
For more information visit www.freerideworldtour.com