Freeride World Tour 2022 continued the blazing pace set by last week’s event in Baqueira Beret, with stop #2 in Ordino Arcalís, Andorra. The competition ended with new riders standing atop all four podiums, which means the race for the world title remains wide open. Sunday’s event took place on a never-before-used venue, Pic De Les Planes, showcasing the extensive terrain available around Ordino Arcalís. Despite warm and dry conditions across much of Europe, a solid snowpack and sunny weather allowed for successful back-to-back events in the Pyrenees, with gorgeous sunny days and spring-like conditions.
Starting the day was Ski Men, and the category saw a mix of explosive performances as well as uncharacteristic falls from tour legends. FWT rookie Maxime Chabloz (SUI) took the victory with a run featuring fast skiing, a massive gap jump, a huge backflip and yet another big 360. Rounding out the podium were two American skiers, Ross Tester (USA) and Andrew Pollard (USA).
“I chose a creative line where not many others had gone, and my backflip was bigger than I planned, but it still worked out perfectly. I am very happy with my first victory on the Freeride World Tour—I'm going to give it my all in Canada and hopefully win another one!” - Maxime Chabloz
Ski Women followed in a similarly dramatic mix of crashes and triumphs. Making her triumphant return to the top of the podium was Jess Hotter (NZL). Hotter linked several large airs with flawless skiing to take the event win. Coming back from a tough crash in Spain last week, 2021 World Champion Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI) placed 2nd, while 3rd place went to tour rookie Lily Bradley (USA).
“Today was all about adjusting my line to the changing conditions, and I’m so happy with how it worked out! My goal this year is just to have fun, and I’m really excited for Kicking Horse, I love it there.“ - Jess Hotter
In Snowboard Men, Blake Moller (USA) took the win with a well-rounded run featuring stylish grabs, spins and a massive backflip to finish. Defending world champion Victor De Le Rue (FRA) took 2nd, with Camille Armand (FRA) in 3rd.
“It feels so cool to get this win. I watched Victor go before me, and he’s one of the greatest of all time, so I knew I had to go hard. Really though, every single snowboarder threw down, and that makes me really stoked.” - Blake Moller
Wrapping up the day was Snowboard Women. Despite the most challenging conditions of the day, the women still put down impressive runs, with yet another tour rookie taking the top spot. Tiphanie Perrotin’s (FRA) winning run showcased her well-rounded abilities and was capped by a huge final air. 2018 world champion Manuela Mandl (AUT) placed 2nd, who was closely followed by Erika Vikander (USA) in 3rd.
“It is very warm up there, the snow has changed a lot compared to this morning, so I decided to change my run a bit. I spotted something a bit bigger and I gave it my best shot and it went well. I’m so stoked!” - Tiphanie Perrotin
With stops #1 and #2 in the books, FWT is ready to head to North America. Next up is stop #3 in Kicking Horse, BC (12-17 February), which will be riders’ last chance to lock in results before The Cut, with top-ranked riders moving through to the FWT Finals in Fieberbrunn, Austria (March 15-20) and Verbier, Switzerland (March 26 - April 3).