Freeride World Tour 2017 – Fieberbrunn, Austria RESULTS
All photos: Freeride World Tour / D.Daher
There was all to play for at the latest stop of the Freeride World Tour. Only the riders with the highest accumulative scores so far get a place at the Alaska event, so everyone still in with a shot of making the cut was going hell-for-lederhosen in the Austrian resort of Fieberbrunn.
Full highlights are available to view above – the snowboarding starts at the 1:50.00 mark. Scroll down further for more photos, and to read our reports from both the men’s and women’s events.
Having dominated the tour so far this year, everyone was expecting Sammy Luebke to once again be the one to beat in Fieberbrunn. The first rider to drop, he found a nice line that offered up some stylish 360s – one backside, one frontside – and an overall score of 90.00. The bar had been set, and the rest of the field would have a task on their hands if they wanted to knock him off the highest perch.
Thomas Feurstein certainly gave it a shot; the Austrian rookie was enjoying home advantage, and immediately heading for a sketchy ridge line. He stepped off the gas a little, however, opting for some relatively small 180s through the lower section.
That left the door open for Jonathan Penfield to get his first podium place of this year’s tour. 2016’s third-highest ranked rider hugged the ridge too, finding a few airs here and there and a fairly big cliff drop to finish. His overall run lacked the tricks of Sammy’s, but in the end was good enough for second.
Fan favourite Flo Orley was the last to drop, going for broke with a line that only skiers had attempted up until now. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out, but it was enough to remind us how enjoyable it is to watch him.
Young Alaskan Davey Baird had some big spills in his run, including a 360-to-bombhole and backflip-to-frontflip-tomahawk, but even his last-place finish was enough to secure the sixth and final spot for the visit to his home state. He’ll be joined there by today’s three podium finishers as well as Ralph Backstrom and Christoffer Granbom.
Last winter, in what was her first FWT season, French rider Marion Haerty managed to rank third overall. Today it was her that kicked things off for the women’s event, and she came out swinging with a bold choice of line. There were a couple of bobbles, but overall it was a free-flowing routine that earned her a score of 75.00.
Would it be enough? Current tour leader Anne-Flore Marxer and Nicola Thost couldn’t get close to her score, but Audrey Hebert left the judges with a difficult task after a run that got going with a hefty cliff drop. In the end they awarded her a 72.00, just behind Marion. Shannan Yates had her own chance right at the death, not only to win this event but to qualify for Haines – her score of 73.33 earned her 2nd place, both for today’s event and for the overall tallies so far.
Anne-Flore joins Shannon and Marion for the Alaska leg, as does Nicola Thost. The weather window for that one is 18th-25 March, so there’s not long to wait.
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