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The third stop of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE 2013 (FWT) concluded today. Mont Blanc created a dramatic background to the competition at La Flégère ski area on the Aiguille Pourrie face. Riders were treated to perfect weather with a cloudless sky. As this stop marks the halfway point of the 2013 Freeride World Tour season the pressure was on for riders to perform their best in pursuit of the first ever true world champion title.
Topping the men’s skiing field with a dynamite run was Drew Tabke of Crystal Mountain, Washington, USA with a score of 91.67. Tabke charged out of the starting gate and straight down the fall line. He maintained incredible speed as he launched off a huge cliff at the end of the technical section of the venue. Tabke sealed his win with a huge crowd-pleasing 360 rotation at the end of his run. Tabke also took the title at the Revelstoke competition earlier this season and is the current leader of the men’s division.
“It is a huge honor for me to win this stop in Chamonix as this is such a special part of the Freeride World Tour and a lovely place to be. I’m so lucky to win because the level of the skiers this winter is outstanding,” noted Tabke.
Fabio Studer of Silvretta Montafon, Austria earned second place in the men’s ski competition with much finesse and a score of 87.00. Studer started his run with a 360 off a feature near the top and then managed a left-side 720 in a very technical section of the venue. Third place in the men’s ski competition went to Willie Lindberg of Riksgransen, Sweden with a score of 84.33. Lindberg skied very fast down looker’s left starting with a huge huck right out of the start and cleanly linking two airs.
After a few weeks off, the women were well rested and ready to for the day’s competition. The 2012 Overall Freeride World Tour Women’s Ski ChampionChristine Hargin of Ramundberget, Sweden has managed back-to-back wins after taking another win today. Hargin already holds the Revelstoke title as well. She skied a very fast run with a nice air at the top. She consistently demonstrated her athleticism and power throughout her run as she cruised down the looker’s left side of the venue.
“I’m very happy with my run and the first place on the podium! I was riding exactly the line I wanted. The competitive level amongst the girls is very high and I have to try hard to win. I’m looking forward for Kirkwood,” exclaimed Hargin.
Hargin is joined on the women’s podium by Nadine Wallner of Arlberg Austria who scored 72.33 and Pia Nic Gundersen of Anstadblaheia, Norway with a score of 70.67.
“This has been a fantastic day in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc with progressive riding down the north face of Aiguille Pourrie,” said Freeride World Tour General Manager Nicolas Hale-Woods. “The weather was perfect and we have seen amazing riding today both with the pros and also with the juniors who competed on another venue at the same time for the first stop of the Freeride Juniors by Dakine. Freeriding was at its best today and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc demonstrated why it is the Mecca of the sport.”
The Freeride World Tour is the premier big mountain Freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing on the biggest mountain resort venues. Riders compete one at a time and receive an overall score from a judging panel based on numerous categories including line difficulty, control, fluidity, technique and style. The event features natural terrain features found on the most exciting format possible. A start gate is positioned at the summit with a finish gate at the bottom. The best complete runs win. The sport is similar in context to big-wave surfing with skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and couloirs. Competition runs are enhanced with progressive big jumps and mach-speed turns at an aggressive pace.
1. Drew Tabke – USA
2. Fabio Studer – AUT
3. Wille Lindberg – SWE
1. Christine Hargin – SWE
2. Nadine Wallner – AUT
3. Pia Nic Gundersen – NOR