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WORLD’S TOP FREERIDERS SLATED TO MAKE HISTORY COMPETING ON PERMANENTLY CLOSED TERRAIN AT FREERIDE WORLD TOUR’S NISSAN TRAM FACE – SQUAW VALLEY USA, FEBRUARY 27 – MARCH 5, 2010

[Squaw Valley USA] January 21, 2010 – The world’s best skiers and snowboarders are battling it out again for the Freeride World Tour Championship title at four of the world’s most prestigious ski resorts. It all starts on the Russian slopes of Sochi, followed closely by the next stage in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. The Tour then journeys to Squaw Valley USA for the only North American stop to “ride” the mythical Tram Face that has never before successfully opened for competition, as weather deterred the event (and first legal descent) from taking place in 2009. The stage is set for a second attempt to make history on the permanently closed terrain during Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA on February 27, 2010.

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Squaw's Tram Face. Photo: Mark Kendrick

“It is with great satisfaction that we announce the Freeride World Tour’s third season. This year the Tour will be staged in some of the world’s most renowned ski resorts. Our partner, Nissan, co-founder of the Tour, continues its unwavering support. Swatch, among other partners is reinforcing its involvement by presenting two of the Freeride World Tour’s stages this year. Ensured by the participation of the world’s top freeriders, we are very keen for the FWT’s third season to kick off” comments Nicolas Hale-Woods, founder of the Freeride World Tour.

Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA – Freeride World Tour
In Squaw Valley’s 60 years of operation, the steep rock face below Tower 1 of the Cable Car (known as the “Tram Face”) has remained strictly off-limits. Its steep and seemingly un-skiable pitch and permanent closure have made it a coveted line among the freeride set that calls the mountain home. This winter, during the Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA, February 27 – March 5, only the world’s top international skiers and snowboarders descend on the legendary resort in an attempt to stake their claim on the hairy terrain. Last year’s event was slated to be the first-ever Tram Face opening, but a massive snow storm moved the competition to Squaw’s Silverado bowl; pushing the first legal opening of the Tram Face to 2010. Now the athletes are even hungrier and the spectators more eager than ever for history to be made on Squaw’s Tram Face at the 2010 Freeride World Tour’s only North American stop. As would be expected of such a headlining event, the valley will erupt with street parties, live music, and other festivities all week long. www.freerideworldtour.com
“The level among the riders has increased constantly since the first edition of the Tour. It is no longer enough to be a great skier to take part of the Tour. Physical and mental preparation, thorough inspection of the competition face, and top gear, are all important elements that has helped develop freeriding to a professional sport, becoming more and more known by the broad public,” says Freeride World Champion 2009 Aurélien Ducroz of France.
A testament to Squaw Valley’s paramount terrain and Freeride training ground, 4 of the 9 US athletes invited to compete on the World Tour hale form Squaw Valley USA. The Squaw brood includes 2008 Women’s Ski Freeride World Tour Champion Elyse Sagstad, 2009 Men’s Snowboard Freeride World Tour Tram Face Champion Jeremy Jones, former Squaw Valley Ski Team alpine racer and ski film star, Cody Townsend, freeskiing and BASE jumping legend JT Holmes, and 23 year old Tim Dutton who was raised in the shadow of the elusive Tram Face at the base of Squaw Valley.
“The reason I strived so much to get on the Freeride World Tour is because there is no Olympics in extreme skiing. [The Freeride World Tour] is the end of the line right there . . . so for me, being able to compete on the tour is amazing, it’s definitely where the top athletes are today and where it’s going on,” says Tim Dutton, Squaw Valley freerider taking on his childhood heroes on the esteemed Freeride World Tour beginning in Sogchi, Russia. Tim Dutton Freeride World tour interview and action footage is available (courtesy of Freeride World Tour) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FksDTZgmQm4

About the Freeride World Tour:
The Freeride World Tour was initiated in 2008 and consecrated by the participation of the world’s elite freeriders: men, women, skiers and snowboarders alike. They tour the planet’s most radical faces in pursuit of the world freeride title. The Freeride World Tour has achieved full recognition by the world’s most accomplished athletes, the prestigious ski resorts hosting its events, and by the media, thanks to FWT’s quality organization and choice of locations. Particular care and emphasis is put on security, contest format, and judging. Independent qualification events certified “Freeride World Qualifiers” are also on the calendar. This allows large numbers of riders to appear in the Nissan Freeride World Ranking, the world’s unique freeriding rating authority, in order to qualify for the Freeride World Tour.
Riders qualified for first stage of the FWT* (with Freeride World Ranking indicated or wild card/WC):

Ski Men (20) – Click on the names which are highlighted to see profiles
1. Aurelien Ducroz FRA
2. Reine Barkered SWE
3. Sverre Liliequist SWE
4. Matthias Haunholder AUT
5. Henrik Windstedt SWE
6. Thibaud Duchosal FRA
7. Raphy Gillioz SUI
8. Seb Michaud FRA
9. Thomas Diet FRA
10. Kaj Zackrisson SWE
11. Torgrim Vole NOR
12. Griffin Post USA
WC. Adrien Coirier FRA
WC. Richard Permin FRA
WC. JT Holmes USA
WC. Phil Meier SUI
WC. Cody Townsend USA
WC. Tim Dutton USA

Snowboard Men (10)
1. Xavier De Le Rue FRA
3. Max Zipser AUT
4. Matt Annetts USA
6. Mitch Toelderer AUT
7. Flo Orley AUT
8. Will Brommelsiek USA
WC. Eric Themel AUT
WC. Cyril Neri SUI
WC. Niklas Hollsten FIN
WC. Jeremy Jones USA

Ski Women (9)
1. Ane Enderud NOR
2. Marja Persson SWE
3. Jess Mc Millan USA
4. Elyse Saugstad USA
WC.Crystal Wright USA

Snowboard Women (4)
1.Susan Mol USA
2.Aline Bock GER
WC.Vivian Aasen NOR
WC .Maria Kuzma NZL
WC. Maelle Ricker CAN

The 2010 Freeride World Tour’s four stages:
1. NISSAN RUSSIAN ADVENTURE BY SWATCH – SOCHI, RUSSIA
Date: January 21st 2010
2. NISSAN FREERIDE OF CHAMONIX-MONT-BLANC – FRANCE
Date: January 30th 2010
3. NISSAN TRAM FACE – SQUAW VALLEY USA – UNITED STATES
Date: February 27th 2010
4. NISSAN XTREME BY SWATCH – VERBIER, SWITZERLAND
Date: March 20th 2010

More information on the Freeride World Tour and Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley USA is available on www.freerideworldtour.com. Events and operations are weather dependent. The most up-to-date resort conditions, operation schedules, events and live mountain cams are available on www.squaw.com.

Site of the VIII Winter Olympic Games, Squaw Valley USA is located five miles north of Lake Tahoe along the Truckee River on Highway 89. The year-round resort offers 4,000 acres of lift-served terrain including superpipes and terrain parks, ice skating, snowtubing, indoor rock climbing, an Olympic Winter Games Museum, shopping, dining and more. For more information call 530-583-6985, or visit www.squaw.com.
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