25/02/2010 | by Uli Köhler
Where: Chamonix, France
The Freeride World Tour 2010 kicked off in perfect weather conditions on the 500 meter “Pentes de l’Hôtel” face at the Brévent resort in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. The 50 best freeriders on the planet put on an amazing performance, showing the 3000 cheering spectators the top of their game on the committing face and challenging snow conditions. The most consistent run among the snowboarders was Austrian Mitch Toelderer’s line, making an interesting line interpretation in the middle, steep section of the course, taking two solid airs towards the end.
After the last few days’ of snowfall the blue skies finally presented a dream like arena for the athletes and spectators of the Nissan Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. However, the snow conditions where tricky for the competitors. A lot of the fresh powder was taken down by the first riders and parts of the face exposed rock hard snow, and at times ice. Control was decisive.
The Chamonix local Douds Charlet showed the international elite the local spice with two stylish jumps right at the start, with one clean “360 front side”, securing second. The only Briton on the line up, James Stentiford, had a very fluid and fast run, with full control down the icy part of the face, giving him the third place of the podium. Here’s what Mitch had to say about his run: “I realised when the forerunner did the first run down the face that the snow looked really firm. So I decided to go for the run I did today and I sticked to my plan till the end, including the jumps. I was a bit sceptical with the landings because of the icy parts but I finally managed ok. Given the conditions, I am happy.”
Freeriding is not a male-only pastime: Reigning Freeride World Champion snowboarder Susan Mol (USA) had a convincing run down the face, too, with an interesting line interpretation and fast controlled turns. Here’s Susan: “It was fun but it was really icy at times and kind of scary. When I saw the conditions, I decided to change my line at the very last minute but still had to scrape down most of the way.”
1- Mitch Toelderer AUT
2- Douds Charlet FRA
3- James Stentiford UK
1- Susan Mol USA
2- Nathalie Zenklusen SUI
3- Aline Bock GER