Three world champion titles open for the taking on the legendary Swiss freeride venue, Bec des Rosses set-up a dramatic FWT grand finale in Verbier yesterday where four new riders were crowned world champion. The day also featured an excellent Freeride Junior Tour by Head (FJT) competition, which ran simultaneously.
Sammy Luebke (USA-1st Place) claimed an unprecedented third consecutive FWT title and Xtreme Verbier win that he cemented with one of the most committed lines of the season, charging into the central couloir with speed and fluidly stomping multiple huge drops. Elias Elhardt (GER-2nd Place) earned his first Xtreme Verbier podium with a solid and playful run on the big mountain venue, which included a perfectly executed backside 360 in the steep dogleg couloir. Davey Baird (USA-3rd Place) took the third podium position for the event and the 2018 season thanks to a very steep and technical line through the central couloir that he executed with confidence. Riding with the golden bib today Thomas Feurstein (AUT) finishes fourth at the Xtreme Verbier, placing him second in the overall ranking.
”I’m feeling super amazing, conditions are super good and I was able to do the exact same line i wanted!”, says Sammy Luebke.
With Kristofer Turdell (SWE-DNS) having already claimed the FWT title with his result in Austria, the male skiers were charging hard to fill the remaining top two overall podium spots and the Xtreme Verbier win. Mickael Bimboes (FRA-1st Place) was the man to beat today with two massive airs and fast big mountain riding, which earned him his first win on the Bec des Rosses and a 3rd place overall finish for the 2018 season. Rookie, Craig Murray (NZL-2nd Place) wowed judges and spectators with a very creative and critical line that featured two huge styly 360s, landing him in the 2nd podium position. Markus Eder (ITA-3rd Place) took home his first Xtreme Verbier and FWT overall podiums today, finishing in 2nd place for the season thanks to his trademark committed, fluid and creative style.
”Of course it feels really good to take home the title today. What was even better is that I already secured it before the finals, since i got injured. This is something I worked for for three years, and that makes it even more special.”, says Kristofer Turdell.
Marion Haerty (FRA-1st Place) earned her first career Xtreme Verbier win and a 2nd place FWT overall finish with confident riding, including a final stomp to close-out yet another solid season. Anna Orlova (RUS-2nd Place) put the finishing touches on a great rookie season with the biggest air and stomp of the day for the category, resulting in an Xtreme Verbier podium and a 3rd place overall finish. Manuela Mandl (AUT-3rd Place) claimed her first career FWT title today with a strong result earned with fluid big mountain riding and multiple airs in steep terrain.
"I’m really happy to be on the podium at Xtreme, but even more happy to take the world champion title since it was a tough day. I didn't want to risk it all so i went for a safety line, but next year i’m going to go huge!”, says Manuela Mandl.
Arianna Tricomi (ITA-1st Place) took to the air in a decisive big mountain performance to claim the highly contested world title race and the Xtreme Verbier win, both being career firsts for her. Veteran, Lorraine Huber (AUT-2nd Place) charged into a steep and technical line, stomping two big airs to earn a 2nd place podium finish for the day and a 3rd place finish overall. Eva Walkner (AUT-3rd Place) came up just shy from taking the win from her rival after some trouble cleanly sticking her top air but finished the season with a podium and strong 2nd place overall ranking after stomping the biggest double drop of the day for her category.
”I still need some time to realize that i won the whole tour, but winning on the Bec feels even better!” says Arianna Tricomi.