With crucial points on the line in the FWT title race, riders threw down huge on the "Basser Negre" venue in a stellar competition at Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra the first of three European stops of the 2018 tour. With crunch time rapidly approaching in Fieberbrunn and crucial points on the line in the 2018 FWT, riders in every category threw down on the legendary Pyrenean freeride venue, "Basser Negre”. Recent snowfall in Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra and bluebird skies made for superb riding conditions and amazing performances to kick-off the European leg of the 2018 tour.
Sammy Luebke (USA-1st Place), defending FWT World Champion was the rider to beat today with his trademark playful style on offer from start to finish, including a beautifully executed front side 360 to cement his win. Thomas Feurstein (AUT-2nd Place) had a well-deserved result thanks to a perfectly ridden top section followed by a big stomp off the “Malakhov Cliff”. Backcountry freestyle legend and 2018 Wildcard, Gigi Rüf (AUT-3rd Place) earned his first FWT podium spot with a stylish run, which included a perfectly stomped backside 360.
"I feel super hyped to put down that run. My knee is feeling good, I feel healthy, I’m super stoked!" says Sammy Luebke
Manuela Mandl (AUT-1st Place) was the obvious winner launching out of the gate with speed and confidence, linking up two cleanly landed big airs for a solid performance. Audrey Hebert (CAN-2nd Place) took the number two spot on the podium thanks to a fluid run and clean airs. Marion Haerty (FRA-3rd Place) put together a solid technical run, opening up a new line for the category that she followed with plenty of air time to close out a solid day for the snowboarders.
"I’m really happy that I won here because now I can continue playing this year just snowboarding! Andorra is beautiful, the mountains here are great, we had so much luck with the face and the snow, I’m super happy!" Mandl says.
Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) made FWT history for her category today with a beautifully floated 360 and perfect landing to cap-off a stellar run, which put her on the top of the podium and maintained her number one overall ranking. Two times FWT Champion, Eva Walkner (AUT-2nd Place) stuck a big mandatory air in the central couloir with ease, which she followed-up with more air time in a hard-charging run to earn her the number two spot. Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI-3rd Place) landed multiple big airs on her fast and fluid run culminating with her standing proudly on the podium.
"I’m stoked that I end up on the podium!" says Tricomi.
It was a day of massive performances and big scores for the Ski Men Category. Kristofer Turdell (SWE-1st Place) was the man to beat thanks to a critically stomped straight line to air in the central couloir, followed by a huge and perfectly landed backflip and a stylish 360 to put his stamp on the winning run. Rookie, Craig Murray (NZL-2nd Place) stood on the FWT podium for his first time in his career after executing a textbook run with style written all over it, including a rarely seen and cleanly stomped flatspin. Two times FWT Champion, Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA-3rd Place) had yet another solid performance in Andorra with big floaty airs and a very fluid run earning him a well-deserved spot on the podium.
"I feel unbelievably good, just sitting here all the comp, watching all the other guys sending it so much ! I can’t believe I end up on the top of the podium." says Kristofer Turdell.
It was an epic day in Vallnord-Arcalís, Andorra with world class riding to kick off the European leg of the 2018 FWT. With only two stops left, “Crunch Time” in Fieberbrunn, Austria is next for the last chance to qualify for the finals at the Xtreme Verbier.