Following a day of spectacular season-opening riding yesterday, organizers and athletes successfully restaged the Hakuba, Japan event that was postponed due to difficult snow and weather conditions. 47 riders divided into four categories made their way up to 2330m to drop into the “Truth and Dare” face situated in Purcell Mountains. The original event, scheduled to take place last month in Hakuba, Japan, was restaged due to safety concerns and low visibility.
Jonathan Penfield (USA-1st Place) earned a well-deserved top spot on the podium with a clean line driving through the top of the venue with stylish and stuck grabs. Fellow countryman Davey Baird (USA–2nd Place) stacked another podium win on top of his first place finish yesterday with a similar line to Penfield, including a big shifty air at the bottom. Thomas Feurstein (AUT–3rd Place) rounded out the category with strong and consistent riding in good snow.
Ivan “Mad” Malakhov (RUS-1st Place) finally got the win that he has long been searching for as he launched one of the biggest airs of the day with an impeccable landing followed by clean, fast skiing. Yann Rausis (SUI-2nd Place) was able to snag second place with a perfect backflip and incredibly fast and smooth skiing throughout the venue. While he skied a similar line to Rausis with an impressive backflip, Kristofer Turdell (SWE-3rd Place) was unable to keep his riding tight enough to place higher.
“It's my first win on the FWT! I changed my line last minute and I'm so stoked it worked out well!,” says Ivan Malakhov
Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) keeps turning up the heat with a series of clean airs linked by the solid technique she is known for. Putting on the pressure with an impressive double air and full-throttle skiing, Hazel Josie Birnbaum (USA-2nd Place) took the second spot on the podium. Eva Walkner (AUT-3rd Place) skied a creative line with a side-hit feature, rounding out the category.
“I had a lot of fun riding down, it went well for me, I won!,” says Arianna Tricomi
Representing Japan for the restaged Hakuba event, Wakana Hama (JPN-1st Place) was able to translate her boardercross background into a technical line selection, putting her on top. The first rider on course, Erika Vikander (USA-2nd Place) put her strong powder riding skills to work and took second place. Marion Haerty (FRA-3rd Place) was unable to keep her line together after some small tumbles but an impressive 360 still earned her third place.
“I just tried to do my best and to have fun!,” says Wakana Hama
After two days of spectacular riding, the 2018 season is officially underway! Be sure to follow the latest competition and rider news at www.freerideworldtour.com and on FWT social media channels as we approach the European leg of the tour, starting with Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra on March 1-7!