Since 2008, The Freeride World Tour has made sports history bringing together top international freeride snowboarders, men and women, competing at prestigious resorts around the world, battling for the World Champion title.
Nissan Mammoth Challenge 2008 – all photos: Christophe Margot
For the second edition, the Freeride World Tour is honored to announce a new partnership with SWATCH as the Official Data Handler. Launched in 1982 by G. Nicolas Hayek, today SWATCH is a leading Swiss watch and jewellery maker and one of the world’s most fashionable brands. With a strong presence in the world of sports for many years supporting action sports, SWATCH is very implicated in the development of Freeride competitions.
SWATCH is also a partner of some of the best freeriders on the planet. The athletes of the Swatch Outlaws Proteam are strong-willed, charismatic riders mastering adrenaline driven sports. Some of them such as Kaj Zackrisson (SWE), Seb Michaud (FRA), Cody Townsend (USA), Phil Meier (SUI), Xavier de le Rue (FRA), Geraldine Fasnacht (SUI), Jeremy Jones (USA), Sverre Liliequist (SWE), Thomas Diet (FRA) among others will participate in the Freeride World Tour 2009, revealing the strong bond between SWATCH and these sports.
The Freeride World Tour 2009: four prestigious resorts in Europe and America
20-25 January: the Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi, Russia
Nissan Russian Adventure will take place at the ski resort Krasnaya Polyana in the Western Caucasus. Krasnaya Polyana is the host of the alpine and nordic ski events of the 2014 Winter Olympics with Sochi as host city. Sometimes called the “Russian Courchevel”, Krasnaya Polyana is the most sophisticated ski and snowboard resort in Russia, located just 45 minutes from the Black Sea, and well known as one of President Putin’s favourite holiday resorts. It is also famous for its awesome heliskiing in
the spectacular Caucasus mountain range.
27 February-5 March: the Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley, USA – New Event
Mecca for Big Mountain skiing in the USA, perched atop the Sierra Nevada, the Californian resort of Squaw Valley USA will host the second stop of the Freeride World Tour 2009 on its granite-laden terrain. For the first time in history, the legendary Tram Face will be officially open for pro riders since the resort was open in 1949. The competition face is clear visible from the resort and the cable car system. Squaw Valley USA, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, is one of America’s largest and high tech resorts attracting over 600,000 visitors every year.
8-14 March: the Nissan Freeride de Tignes, France
Tignes, the Kingdom of Freeriding: the third contest of the Freeride World Tour will take place at one of the world’s biggest ski domains “espace killy”. The contest will be held at the legendary Grande Balme, with great viewing from village of Tignes Val Claret. The face is located right in the middle of the Tignes domain and very accessible for the public. One chair lift ride from the village Val Claret and you have the massive face just in front of you.
20-29 March: the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 09, Switzerland – the Finals
Since its start in 1996 the “Xtreme” has been considered the most prestigious event in the freeride world. For the “grande finale” of the Freeride World Tour the elite of freeride will tackle the mythical Bec des Rosses, a 500m north face, in places some 55 degrees sheer slopes. With steep and narrow couloirs, high rock cliffs, changing snow and terrain, it asks the riders to be highly skilled in top physical condition, thorough mountain experience. Only the top ranked riders in the Freeride World Ranking will
qualify for the Nissan Xtreme – Verbier 2009.
The Freeride World Tour 2009: the best for the world’s Elite100% of the invited world best riders confirmed for the first Freeride World Tour events (FWT)
All the top ranked athletes invited have confirmed their participation to the first three 2009 Freeride World Tour events, with only the top riders (8 men and 3 women) qualifying for the grand final at Nissan Xtreme, Verbier 09.10 Freeride World Qualifier Events (FWQ) worldwide selected to join the Freeride World Ranking 2009.
The Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events are existing international events, all certified by the Pro Freerider Board and using the same judging system as the Freeride World Tour events. They will support the Freeride World Tour, allowing a greater depth of talent, nationalities and riders to enter the Tour and compete for the World champion title. The athletes will be pushed to perform with greater control, agility and power as the seasoned pros are challenged by the new talent.
Xavier de Le Rue, the Freeride World Tour 2008 Snowboard Champion
“Does freeriding have its place in competition? That’s quite a controversy. After the first season of the Freeride World Tour and looking back onto the evolution of the main events, especially in the last few years, I can say that competition is definitely pushing the level higher and that it’s been as impressive as inspiring to see some of the guys perform. In my eyes, this tour is a key for the evolution of the sport and it’s really nice to hang out with this wonderful crowd. I can’t wait to see the future!