Freeride World Tour Championships Crowned for First Time Ever in Unified Global Championships

 

Freeride World Tour Championships 2013

Verbier, Switzerland (March 22, 2013) - A historic season of the SWATCH Freeride World Tour by The North Face® (FWT) came to an end with jaw dropping action on the mythical Bec des Rosses face in Verbier, Switzerland. The four Freeride World Tour Champions were crowned at the end of a six-event global series. For the 18th edition of the legendary “Verbier Xtreme” the athletes took on the challenging face with great skill. Thousands of thrilled spectators onsite and more than 180’000 viewers on the live webcast watched the spectacular show go down in real time.

Only the highest ranked 2013 FWT athletes and a few exclusive wild cards qualified for the steeps of the infamous Bec des Rosses. With a solid base, thanks to great snow conditions all season and the additional fresh snow earlier in the week, the intimidating face was in great condition to provide a world-class venue for the riders.

The final event proved once again that the 2013 season of the Freeride World Tour has taken the sport to even higher levels of progression. The most notable evolution is the spectacular mix of freestyle trickery with fast riding testing faces without holding back fluidity and control. More “traditional” big mountain chargers are still rewarded when they approach the competitions full throttle without hesitation. The Swatch Xtreme Verbier 2013 by The North Face® was no exception.
 

Men’s Snowboard 
Ralph Backstrom (USA) doubled it down by taking victory and winning the World Champion title with a close to flawless run on the Bec des Rosses. Scoring the high points of 93.67. Backstrom charged down the face right out of the start gate, taking several impressive airs. The battle for first was severe, as several potential champions were putting it all on the line to earn the top spot. Big mountain rider Aurélien Routens‘ (FRA) confidence almost paid off, but he still managed to take second in front of his countryman and defending World Champion Jonathan Charlet in third.

Ralph Backstrom, probably the most consistent rider of the field, has been close to the Freeride World Tour title for several years. The talented American was very moved to finally have reached the top spot: “I’ve got no words. I’m pretty emotional. I’ve had a lot of years trying to get this. I’ve been second a few times and really happy to finally take down the whole tour! There have been a few ups and downs this year, first winning in Revelstoke and then quite a variable season, so I’m really stoked to end on a high note here in Verbier.” 
 

Women’s Snowboard 
In a tight and very competent field of women snowboarders, Elodie Mouthon (FRA) came out on top on the Bec des Rosses with the high score of 86.33 points. Her fast, aggressive riding paid off, linking several great airs in a fluid line. The local rookie Estelle Ballet (SUI) earned respect by taking second in front of season favorite Margot Rozies (FRA) even though both riders had similar impressive runs down the powder covered face. 

With the win in Verbier and a total of four podium finishes, Elodie Mouthon, managed to grab the Freeride World Champion title on her first year on the tour. “I am really thrilled to both win here today and win the world champion title. It’s my first season on the tour and I am happy with my overall results at each event. It helped me build confidence coming in to the finals today. I felt good on the face and my goal was to do a fluid but challenging run. “

 

Adam Comey, FWT General Manager Americas season review:
“The 2013 FWT season was an amazing step in the growth of the freeride movement. The quality of talent we have witnessed throughout the tour is so evenly matched between the two regions. It is fantastic to see athletes finally competing on a unified world tour for a single world championship. Congratulations to all the athletes for an incredible season and especially to our newly crowned true world champions. We are ecstatic to start working on the 2014 season.”

Freeride World Tour Champions 2013 

Men’s Snowboard: Ralph Backstrom USA

Women’s Snowboard: Elodie Mouthon FRA

 

Winners Swatch Xtreme Verbier 2013 by The North Face®

Men’s Snowboard: Ralph Backstrom USA

Women’s Snowboard: Elodie Mouthon FRA

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Click  here to see the full results of Verbier Xtreme.

Click here to see overall final 2013 rankings.

Click here  to view all the runs on video.

Click here to watch the replay of the live webcast.

 

Follow the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2013 BY THE NORTH FACE® on Facebook at www.facebook.com/freerideworldtour, on Instagram (@freerideworldtour) and on Twitter at  www.Twitter.com/FreerideWTour (@FreerideWTour), and #FWT13.

 

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SWATCH

Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch and jewelry maker and one of the world’s most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its big-brand support for snowboarding, free skiing, FMX and surfing, along with Beach Volleyball. Right from the start, Swatch connected with art and artists, and Swatch watches remain a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines.  www.swatch.com   

 

The North Face® 
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in Alameda, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers, and major outdoor specialty retail chains. For more information, go to www.thenorthface.com.

 

FWT MANAGEMENT

FWT Management SA, based in Lutry/Lausanne-Switzerland, is organizing world-class sports events in mountain resorts and regions since 1996. Founder of “Verbier Xtreme” -iconic event in Freeride skiing & snowboarding -, FWT Management SA has taken the stand-alone Verbier Xtreme event to create Freeride World Tour, Freeride World Qualifying Series, Freeride Junior Series, and a Freeride Skiing Team Competition (Swatch Skiers Cup) with events in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. For further information, please contact: David Carlier,   david@freerideworldtour.com   

 

Mountain Sports International

Mountain Sports International (MSI) is a private company, founded in 1997, to develop and produce action/adventure sports events and programming in North America. MSI founded the Freeskiing World Tour, The North Face Masters, The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series, as well as several other properties and concepts. MSI launched MSI Live in 2009, to provide live HD webcast production, content management, encoding, and satellite uplink & delivery. MSI provides event management services, infrastructure and expertise for high-end brands, including The North Face, Burton, Red Bull, Subaru, UFC, and Sierra Nevada. MSI specializes in matching clients with events for brand penetration into target demographics, developing product identification and loyalty. MSI matches brand and culture, company and credibility, to create sought-after events that help to define the action sports culture.