Above: Sammy Luebke going huge in Verbier FTW on the FWT – photo: Freeride World Tour/J. Bernard
As the sun rose over Switzerland for the 22nd edition of the Verbier Xtreme, Sammy Luebke had already claimed the 2017 tour title for himself on home sluff in Alaska. With the scariest face of them all, the Bec des Rosses, still to come, even veteran rider-turned-pundit Xavier de le Rue speculated the champ would take things easy given the gnarl-factor on the 45° slope.
Not so. With one of the biggest single hits of the whole tour Luebke took the win yesterday, giving him four wins out of five and a 100% strike rate on the podium for one of the most dominant seasons in the tour’s ten year history.
Ralph Backstrom and Christoffer Granbom both crashed out on their runs, leaving the podium door open for an American sweep with tour rookie Davey Baird taking second in a previously untouched zone of the face and Jonathon Penfield going for a route with plenty of smaller features for third.
Verbier Xtreme 2017 – Men’s Snowboarding
1st – Sammy Luebke
2nd – Davey Baird
3rd – Jonathon Penfield
The last minute points also gave Baird and Penfield enough to secure spots on the final tour podium, rounding off another exciting few months on the Freeride World Tour.