The 2017 Freeride World Tour Champs Just Got Crowned in Verbier
After a few days of anticipation build up waiting for the right weather day, the final stop of the 2017 Freeride World Tour just went down in Verbier today, with four new world champions crowned. The infamous, mega-gnar Bec des Rosses face got a dusting of snow on Sunday and then the skies cleared to make the comp a reality for Monday. The folks putting on the Verbier event do not mess around. We got to scope the scene first hand and these guys and gals know how to put on a sweet event. The FWT pretty makes takes over the town for the weekend with parties, events, booths, and of course the comp itself. After 22 years of freeride comps in Verbier they’ve definitely got a fine tuned machine and one bad-ass venue.
Here’s the results…
A three-way tie for the world title was finally broken by Chamonix’s own Léo Slemmet! Well done Leo. His kick-ass run began with a committing 360 in the exposed upper part of the venue and was followed by a series of big airs, earning him the much deserved world title. Yet it was Reine Barkered (SWE) who hammered a stunningly fast line through most of the biggest features of the face with his renowned control and veteran mastery that took today’s top performance in ski men.
A suspenseful competition took place in the field as Eva Walkner (AUT) secured her lifelong dream of winning the Xtreme with the biggest and cleanest airs of the day. Third place was enough to place tour veteran Lorraine Huber (AUT) at the top of the overall ranking and earn her first world champion title.
Marion Haerty (FRA) capped a phenomenal season and clinched the title of world champion with her second place run comprised of cleanly stomped airs and beautiful riding. Anne-Flore Marxer (SUI/FRA) took the top position today with the most aggressive line featuring the field’s largest airs of the day.
Despite the unstoppable Sammy Luebke (USA) already solidifying his world champion title after the penultimate stop in Haines, Alaska, he still sent two enormous airs in the Dogleg Couloir section of the venue and once again took first place on the Bec. Rookie Davey Baird (USA) held his own and rode an untouched part of the venue with an impressive double air which topped off a solid first year on the tour.
Sammy Luebke, FWT17 world champion snowboard men: “I was pretty nervous, I didn’t eat this morning, my stomach hurt. You always get super nervous when you’re coming to ride the Bec. I had the competition in my mind, but mainly the plan was getting down the face and finding good snow. It didn’t feel like riding down the Bec which is usually super nerve-racking and every run could be your last. It just felt really good!”
The replay of today’s event is available on www.freerideworldtour.com for the female categories and www.redbull.tv for the men’s categories, where you can watch and rewatch the best runs of the day with the rider tagging system.
As the season winds down, be sure to follow the latest news and rider updates for the upcoming 2018 season all summer long on www.freerideworldtour.com and FWT social media channels.