At the second stop of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2013 BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT), the international field of elite athletes threw down a spectacular show combining big mountain charging with impressive tricks on the “Tête d’Arp", never ridden in competition before.
With the south side of Mont Blanc as the perfect backdrop, a bluebird day with fresh powder greeted the strong line up of 33 skiers and 15 snowboarders at the men’s only competition. The athletes enjoyed the great conditions and showed their top skills on the 600-metre north face of Tête d’Arp. Excitement filled the air as no one had ridden the face in competition before. Riders described the top section as steep, 45 degrees big mountain style, and the lower part giving various options for more playful riding and multiple airs. Any style of riding could take victory at this interesting venue.
Italy’s Markus Eder clinched the skiers’ win with a score of 89,67 points, executing the most playful run of the day. As a late start number Eder chose a unique line entry, skiing down the ridge before hitting the steep face in controlled high-speed big mountain style. He then impressed the judges with an arsenal of tricks on the second half of the venue, pulling off a backflip, a huge left side 360 and even riding switch (backwards). On his first year on the tour, young Eder was definitely the biggest crowd pleaser of the day on home turf. “I’m stoked with my line. I didn’t expect to win as I did a little mistake on my backflip. I hoped to be on the podium but to win is really fantastic."
Swiss Jérémie Heitz managed to repeat his performance in Revelstoke, Canada and claim the second podium spot with a hard charging big mountain line, giving him the score of 86,0 points. Heitz probably had the fastest run of the day. Third place finisher and reigning world champion Reine Barkered of Sweden, also skied full throttle, typical Reine style, mixing big air and fast riding, scoring 81,0 points.
Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT General Manager Europe said:
"For a third consecutive year we have had perfect conditions and an amazing playground here in Courmayeur on the south side of Mont Blanc. The upcoming weekend the athletes will cross the tunnel and take on the north side of Mont Blanc in Chamonix."