The world’s best freeriders put on a clinic – showcasing a mix of freestyle and pure freeride – in the FWT season opener in Ordino Arcalís. Sunny skies and spring-like conditions welcomed the competition in Andorra on Friday, with athletes in all categories holding nothing back to secure the season’s first points. Competition went down on Ordino Arcalís’ Port del Rat face, which proved the perfect playground for athletes to unleash their tricks. Here’s what happened in Ordino Arcalís, Andorra:
Hedvig Wessel (NOR-1 st Place) made it two consecutive wins in Andorra by launching an enormous backflip above some rocky terrain before pinning the rest of her run, following an intense fall-line approach. Juliette Willmann (FRA-2 nd Place) earned her first podium finish ever after a gruelling training regime leading up to the event. She opened her run in the steep couloir, stomping an air back into the technical terrain then ignored the surrounding exposure to unleash a fast double and topping it off with a final technical air. Maude Besse (SUI-3 rd Place), returning from injury, exploded out of the gates into the steepest section of the face then followed a fast, direct line, popping multiple airs along the way.
“I’ve been dreaming about this backflip. I knew it was going to be the biggest one on this cliff and I was definitely at the limits. I’m so happy to set it all down and stay on my feet.”
Ross Tester (USA-1 st Place) didn’t show any rookie nerves when he exited gates with some serious heat and delivered an express freestyle masterclass. Starting with a 360 to spin onto the FWT stage, he then stomped a huge air and finished off with a massive backflip to lock in the top spot in his first FWT competition. Maël Ollivier (FRA-2 nd Place) opened his FWT account with a risky 360 into a tight chute and linked this at speed into another critical air. He sent multiple airs in the middle section and finished his fluid and dynamic run with a huge stomp. Blake Marshall (NZL-3 rd Place) looked comfortable on a quiver of borrowed equipment, executing an effortless tailgrab-360 up top before a rapid-fire double in the middle and a huge bottom air to solidify a podium finish.
“I never expected to win my first event. After all the training and everything to come together, it’s definitely a dream come true.”
Marion Haerty (FRA-1 st Place) proved she is hungry for a fourth world title with an action-packed run to lock in the top spot. A big air out of the gates set the tone before launching multiple airs with pure class. Erika Vikander (USA-2 nd Place) started with some serious freeride steep turns before linking together a fluid run, including multiple airs and grabs.Katie Anderson (USA-3 rd Place) found some fresh snow and used it to link some big mountain turns and put down a clean run, navigating some rugged terrain down the bottom and finishing with a clean air to exit.
"I did a good first season run and I'm really happy about it. Sometimes I'm not 100% satisfied, and despite the conditions not being super easy, I am super stoked with my first place, and I'll try to keep this rhythm going."
Cody Bramwell (GBR-1 st Place) clinched victory in his first FWT competition, stomping a massive backflip above some serious exposure before pre-ollying a huge cliff down the bottom, tweaking out a double shifty mid-air. Blake Moller (USA-2 nd Place) came out with guns blazing with a creative line, including a huge backflip up top then an insane critical triple drop to earn his podium finish. Nils Mindnich (USA-3 rd Place) completed a characteristic fluidic line including two floaty 360s to stake his claim for another world title.
“I was so nervous, but it all worked out, the big trick at the beginning worked out perfectly, then I linked it up at the end. I’m speechless!”
With snowfall on the forecast for Monday, Tuesday looks the goods for the next competition window – to be confirmed in the coming days. So keep an eye out, and stay tuned on the FWT social media channels for updates, and relive all of the action at freerideworldtour.com.