Freeride World Tour Champions Crowned!
Sat 23 March 13
A historic season of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2013 BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) came to an end with jaw dropping action on the mythical Bec des Rosses face in Verbier, Switzerland.
Freeride World Tour Champions Crowned! © Freeride World Tour
The four Freeride World Tour Champions were crowned at the end of a six-event global series. For the 18th edition of the legendary “Verbier Xtreme” the athletes took on the challenging face with great skill. Thousands of thrilled spectators onsite and more than 180’000 viewers on the live webcast watched the spectacular show go down in real time.
Only the highest ranked 2013 FWT athletes and a few exclusive wild cards qualified for the steeps of the infamous Bec des Rosses. With a solid base, thanks to great snow conditions all season and the additional fresh snow earlier in the week, the intimidating face was in great condition to provide a world-class venue for the riders
Verbier Xtreme 2013
Only the highest ranked 2013 FWT athletes and a few exclusive wild cards qualified for the steeps of the infamous Bec des Rosses. With a solid base, thanks to great snow conditions all season and the additional fresh snow earlier in the week, the intimidating face was in great condition to provide a world-class venue for the riders.
The final event proved once again that the 2013 season of the Freeride World Tour has taken the sport to even higher levels of progression. The most notable evolution is the spectacular mix of freestyle trickery with fast riding testing faces without holding back fluidity and control. More “traditional” big mountain chargers are still rewarded when they approach the competitions full throttle without hesitation. THE SWATCH XTREME VERBIER 2013 BY THE NORTH FACE® was no exception.
Swatch Xtreme Verbier
Ralph Backstrom (USA) doubled it down by taking victory and winning the World Champion title with a close to flawless run on the Bec des Rosses. Scoring the high points of 93.67. Backstrom charged down the face right out of the start gate, taking several impressive airs. The battle for first was severe, as several potential champions were putting it all on the line to earn the top spot. Big mountain rider Aurélien Routens’ (FRA) confidence almost paid off, but he still managed to take second in front of his countryman and defending World Champion Jonathan Charlet in third.
Ralph Backstrom, probably the most consistent rider of the field, has been close to the Freeride World Tour title for several years. The talented American was very moved to finally have reached the top spot: “I’ve got no words. I’m pretty emotional. I’ve had a lot of years trying to get this. I’ve been second a few times and really happy to finally take down the whole tour! There have been a few ups and downs this year, first winning in Revelstoke and then quite a variable season, so I’m really stoked to end on a high note here in Verbier.”
In a tight and very competent field of women snowboarders, Elodie Mouthon (FRA) came out on top on the Bec des Rosses with the high score of 86.33 points. Her fast, aggressive riding paid off, linking several great airs in a fluid line. The local rookie Estelle Ballet (SUI) earned respect by taking second in front of season favorite Margot Rozies (FRA) even though both riders had similar impressive runs down the powder covered face.
With the win in Verbier and a total of four podium finishes, Elodie Mouthon, managed to grab the Freeride World Champion title on her first year on the tour. “I am really thrilled to both win here today and win the world champion title. It’s my first season on the tour and I am happy with my overall results at each event. It helped me build confidence coming in to the finals today. I felt good on the face and my goal was to do a fluid but challenging run. ”
Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT General Manager Europe wraps it up:
“Year after year the athletes keep on enthralling us at the Verbier Xtreme. The Bec des Rosses is unique and we’re very proud to be on our 18th edition of the event! The level of riding has been amazing all season. The sport is progressing every year. With hundred thousands of people now following the tour, either live on the Internet, onsite at events or in the media, the sport has grown to a higher level of international recognition. The spectacular riding, the international representation of athletes, the high quality imagery we produce and the wish to step it up at each event has allowed us to reach an all time high regarding spectator figures and media coverage. Now, with solid partners and resorts, we can already confirm that we will announce the 2014 in weeks to come.
Tue 26 March 13, Tignes, France
The 2013 British Snowboarding Championships kicked off in its new French home of Tignes with the Snowboardcross hosted for the 11th time by Tresspass.
Wed 27 March 13, Tignes, France
The BRITS Bangers & Cash Rail Jam made its debut today in a snowy, windy Tignes. Event organisers created the jam in order to celebrate the high standard of rail shredding talent coming out of the UK at the moment.
Sat 30 March 13, Tignes, France
The British Dare 2b Snowboard Halfpipe final drew the curtain on the first ever BRITS Championships in Tignes. GB Olympic hope Ben Kilner (24, Aberdeen) and budding talent Katie Ormerod (15, Brighouse) took home gold medals despite facing a stiff field of competition.
Sat 30 March 13, Tignes, France
The Protest British Snowboard Slopestyle Championships went ahead despite the snowstorm that battered the Tignes snow park today. Sam Turnball (22, Yorkshire) and Katie Blundell (28, Devon) both took home gold in a contest throwing up both super stylish and technical tricks which let the blizzard-hit crowd forgetting just how wet they were.
Sun 07 April 13, Cairngorm, United Kingdom
The final competition in the Vans Hi-Standard Big Air Snowboarding Series took place in Scotland at CairnGorm Mountain where alpine conditions have prevailed over the Easter holiday period providing a huge boost to the Scottish snowsports industry.