Mammoth – Sochi – The Alps - Tignes – Verbier Verbier, 7 December 2007 - The riders list is complete for the start of the Freeride World Tour 2008. 44 of the planet’s best male and female skiers and snowboarders are selected to fight for the World Champion title in five contests starting with Nissan Mammoth Challenge in California 22 January. Every single one of the invited riders has accepted the invitation promising a world class first edition of the Freeride World Tour with the total elite of the sport. The standard is as high as it gets in the world of freeriding.
American Snowboard legend Jeremy Jones and his companion Steve Klassen, 5-time winner of the Verbier Xtreme, will meet its European likes in riders like Cyril Néri (SUI) and Xavier de la Rue (FRA), 3-time boardercross world cup champion, X-games winner, winner of the Verbier Xtreme and the Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro 2007. The list is endless. The women’s line up is just as impressive. Snowboarders Ruth Leisbach (SUI), Geraldine Fasnacht (SUI) and Bibi Pekarek (AUT) will be pushing the women’s contest to an even higher level. “The riders entering the Freeride World Tour are well known and very experienced. The public and media will without doubt see a beautiful show," said world elite snowboarder and winner of the Verbier Xtreme in 2002 Géraldine Fasnacht from Switzerland. For riders not selected to the Freeride World Tour there is another opportunity to fight for the top through the three contests of the Freeride World Qualifying Series (FWQS) and two open pre-qualification contests. Unknown top-level riders will thereby have the chance to challenge the world’s best freeriders in the quest for the World Champion title. As number one ranked female skier Marja Persson (SWE) puts it: “The standard of the riders is really high even at the open pre-qualification contests. It wouldn’t surprise me if a rider from the open would go all the way to the top and win it all." The Freeride World Tour has a prize purse of $300,000, the highest sum ever to be paid in ski or snowboard freeride contests. The most consistent riders scoring the most points throughout the five contests will gain the Freeride World Champion title in their respective discipline (snowboard/ski/men/women). Darren Cox, Nissan European Brand Experience Manager, commented: "We are delighted that the world's best riders have committed to the tour, to show their skill, athleticism and control at some of the best freeriding destinations". Partners: the partners of the Freeride World Tour events are : Nissan, O'Neill, Swatch, Verbier, Tignes, Mammoth, Scott and Da Kine. Riders confirmed to Nissan Mammoth Challenge, the first contest of the Freeride World Tour Snowboard Men: - Top 14 of the virtual world ranking 2006/2007 - Two wild cards Jeremy Jones (USA) and Steve Klassen (USA) - Three best riders of the qualifying contest Virtual Ranking (2006/07)
1 NERI Cyril SUI 2 DE LE RUE Xavier FRA 3 JORDAN Xavier SUI 4 OERLEY Flo AUT 5 TOELDERER Mitch AUT 6 COUDRAY Alex SUI 7 VAUDROZ Nicolas SUI 8 CORNILLAT Serge FRA 9 MAGNUSSON David NOR 10 FURBERG Daniel SWE 11 FALCO Julien SUI 12 HRYACHKOV Gennady RUS 13 SOMMER André SUI 14 KESTENHOLZ Ueli SUI wild card JONES Jeremy USA wild card KLASSEN Steve USA Snowboard Women: - Top four of the virtual world ranking of 2006/2007 - One wild card - Three best riders of the qualifying contest. Virtual Ranking (2006/07)
1 PEKAREK Bibi AUT 2 LEISIBACH Ruth SUI 3 FASNACHT Géraldine SUI 4 ZENKLUSEN Nathalie SUI wild card tbc