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Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Italy – January 22, 2013 – At the second stop of the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2013 BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT), the international field of elite athletes threw down a spectacular show combining big mountain charging with impressive tricks on the “Tête d’Arp”, never ridden in competition before.
With the south side of Mont Blanc as the perfect backdrop, a bluebird day with fresh powder greeted the strong line up of 33 skiers and 15 snowboarders at the men’s only competition. The athletes enjoyed the great conditions and showed their top skills on the 600-metre north face of Tête d’Arp. Excitement filled the air as no one had ridden the face in competition before. Riders described the top section as steep, 45 degrees big mountain style, and the lower part giving various options for more playful riding and multiple airs. Any style of riding could take victory at this interesting venue.
Italy’s Markus Eder clinched the skiers’ win with a score of 89,67 points, executing the most playful run of the day. As a late start number Eder chose a unique line entry, skiing down the ridge before hitting the steep face in controlled high-speed big mountain style. He then impressed the judges with an arsenal of tricks on the second half of the venue, pulling off a backflip, a huge left side 360 and even riding switch (backwards). On his first year on the tour, young Eder was definitely the biggest crowd pleaser of the day on home turf. “I’m stoked with my line. I didn’t expect to win as I did a little mistake on my backflip. I hoped to be on the podium but to win is really fantastic.”
Swiss Jérémie Heitz managed to repeat his performance in Revelstoke, Canada and claim the second podium spot with a hard charging big mountain line, giving him the score of 86,0 points. Heitz probably had the fastest run of the day. Third place finisher and reigning world champion Reine Barkered of Sweden, also skied full throttle, typical Reine style, mixing big air and fast riding, scoring 81,0 points.
Aurélien Routens of France was rewarded his first ever FWT win in the snowboard competition. Routens scored 83,67 points on a high speed run, with clean riding and solid airs at the exposed top steep section and finishing off with an impressive straight line. “It’s very emotional for me to win here. It’s the first time I take the first step of the podium at a FWT stop. I was just riding as I am used to ride in my hometown La Grave. It’s a nice surprise and I am super happy.”
John Rodosky, USA, took a well deserved second, scoring 78,67 points, riding creatively and bringing numerous solid freestyle tricks into the backcountry. Swiss Emilien Badoux chose a good line all the way through and hitting a nice backside 360 in the midsection, earning the third podium spot with a score of 76,0 points.
Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT General Manager Europe said:
"For a third consecutive year we have had perfect conditions and an amazing playground here in Courmayeur on the south side of Mont Blanc. The upcoming weekend the athletes will cross the tunnel and take on the north side of Mont Blanc in Chamonix.”
For more riders’ quotes click here.
After two out of six events, Jérémie Heitz is leading Men’s Ski overall with two second podium spots. Today’s winner Aurélien Routens is leading Men’s Snowboard with the win and a third place in Revelstoke, Canada.
The women will join the men for the third event in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc on January 26th.
The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2013 BY THE NORTH FACE® then continues its competition schedule with Kirkwood, California, USA on February 27th (Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard), Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal, Austria on March 9th (Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard), and concludes in Verbier, Switzerland on March 23rd (Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard).
For more information on the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® and Freeride World Qualifier events, please visit www.freerideworldtour.com.
Follow the FWT on Twitter (@FreerideWTour) and Instagram (@FreerideWorldTour) with #FWT13.
Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch and jewelry maker and one of the world's most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its big-brand support for snowboarding, free skiing, FMX and surfing, along with Beach Volleyball. Right from the start, Swatch connected with art and artists, and Swatch watches remain a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines. www.swatch.com
The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers, and major outdoor specialty retail chains. For more information, go to www.thenorthface.com.
FWT Management SA, based in Lutry/Lausanne-Switzerland, is organizing world-class sports events in mountain resorts and regions since 1996. Founder of "Verbier Xtreme" -iconic event in Freeride skiing & snowboarding -, FWT Management SA has taken the stand-alone Verbier Xtreme event to create Freeride World Tour, Freeride World Qualifying Series, Freeride Junior Series, and a Freeride Skiing Team Competition (Swatch Skiers Cup) with events in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. For further information, please contact: David Carlier, email@example.com
Mountain Sports International
Mountain Sports International (MSI) is a private company, founded in 1997, to develop and produce action/adventure sports events and programming in North America. MSI founded the Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters, The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series, as well as several other properties and concepts. MSI launched MSI Live in 2009, to provide live HD webcast production, content management, encoding, and satellite uplink & delivery. MSI provides event management services, infrastructure and expertise for high-end brands, including The North Face, Burton, Red Bull, Subaru, UFC, and Sierra Nevada. MSI specializes in matching clients with events for brand penetration into target demographics, developing product identification and loyalty. MSI matches brand and culture, company and credibility, to create sought-after events that help to define the action sports culture.
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