The second to last stop on the Freeride World Tour just went down in Fieberbruun, Austria. Conditions looked about as good as you can hope for in a competition, and all riders really took advantage of what the Wildseelolder face has to offer.
Drew Tabke won for Skiers, with a beautiful, fast and fluid run. Kevin Guri was second, with a really impressive double stager. Current tour leader, Sam Smoothy, took a big crash and ended up in last place. High ranking American Oakley White-Allen also crashed.
Jonathan Charlet won for Snowboarders, with his usual style of finding a creative and untouched line. Flo Orley finished second. Matt Annetts (Unofficial Jackson contributor) finished 5th; and Tahoe local Ralph Backstrom finished 6th.
On to Verbier:
The final stop on the Freeride World Tour will be March 22-25 on the legendary Bec de Rosses, in Verbier CH.
For skiers, Sam Smoothy and Drew Tabke sit in 1st and 2nd place. In the past two seasons, Tabke has transformed from a bit wild (but always entertaining) into the most consistent skier on the tour. Sam Smoothy has had a huge breakout year with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes in the last three events (before crashing at Fieberbruun). Look out for Reine Barkered, currently in third place, who always throws down impressive lines on the Bec de Rosses. It will be fun to see who comes out on top in Verbier.
For Snowboarders, Jonathan Charlet and Ralph Backstrom sit in 1st and 2nd. Both have been dominant this year, although their styles differ. Charlet tends to choose unique and creative lines, while Backstrom goes for the bolder, more aggressive ones. Again, their duel for the title on the Bec de Rosses will be fun to watch.
The Bec de Rosses is, without a doubt, the most challenging face in freeride competition. It is steep, rocky, and has terrifying exposure. The Bec favors riders who have more experience with complex big mountain lines, so the top finishers are not always those who have been dominating the other events. Whoever wins, the Verbier Extreme always provides the scariest, most exciting show of the season.
The Top 3s
- Drew Tabke
- Kevin Guri
- Reine Barkered
- Jonathan Charlet
- Flo Orley
- Aurelien Routens
- Eva Walkner
- Christine Hargin
- Janina Kuzma
- Liz Kristoferitsch
- Shannan Yates
- Maria Kuzma
Visit the FWT website for Full Results, and a Summary.