Blessed with another day of pristine, bluebird skies and surprisingly fresh spring snow on the treacherous, north facing Bec des Rosses, it was Jeremy Jones that came charging out of the gates. Despite his late starting position, Jeremy chose by far the fastest and most fluid line down the middle of the course, throwing up powerful turns and using the full extent of the terrain. Threading his way through the trickier and tighter upper section of the mountain, without a hint of hesitation, Jeremy was really able to open it up on the lower part with some big, cleanly stomped airs. In his usual fashion, the American ripper then signed off his run with an Alaskan style, hell for leather straight-line down to the finish line. Commenting on his run, Jeremy said:

“That was so much fun. It’s the first time I ride in front of people, which is real nice. I tried to put on a good show and be smooth. I really just picked one of the cleanest lines, hitting a couple of smooth airs, nothing too big, I really like to stomp my landings so I picked nice trannies. Europe is where it all started so it was great to be able to make (the contest) and I’m really happy.

Local boy Xavier Rosset and Austrian Mitch Tolderer placed 2nd and 3rd respectively, both negotiating the numerous sluffs and rock outcroppings with ease and finesse. Five-time champion Steve Klassen also put in a solid run with one huge windlip drop, but was let down at the last hurdle with a failed backflip attempt and only placed fourth.

The ladies came next with last year’s title holder Julie Larson looking really strong on the top half of the course. Unfortunately, she was unable to hold down her huge airs, coming away with a mean gash in the bottom of her board. Thisgave Ruth Leisibach the chance to secure the number-one position with an impressive, nerve-wracking seven airs throughout her run.

“It’s great to win. Riding a magic mountain is always amazing and I’m really happy. There was just the one cliff drop I didn’t land which was a little annoying. I need to get stronger legs. But the most important thing for me is the riding and to be able to hang out with everyone here, said Leisibach after winning her run.

On to the skiers and things were looking up for Frenchman and two-time, reigning extreme world champion Manuel Gaidet, until he lost one of his skis landing a 30-foot drop. Both the Davenport brothers and Swiss rider Loris Falquet all put in impressive shows too, but it was Sébastien Michaud’s faultless run, including a huge 30-foot backflip, that would prevail in the end.

“I’m really happy with my run. The snow was much better than I expected so I had a ball out there. My legs didn’t hurt at all and I got to throw down my favourite jump, the fabulous backflip, which I stuck cleanly. Then I went on to do a slightly more technical section but I took it quite easy as I didn’t want to take too many risks now that I’m a family man, said Sébastien.

Winners shared a deserved hefty prize purse of 70,000 euros, together with replica Gilles Voirol trophies for taking part in this death-defying feat. On terrain alone, the Xtreme remains one of the most illustrious extreme events in the world and this year’s 10th edition was no exception.

Results

Men

1. JONES Jeremy (USA)
2. ROSSET Xavier (SUI)
3. TOLDERER Mitch (AUT)
4. KLASSEN Steve (USA)
5. NERI Cyril (SUI)
6. CORNILLAT Serge (FRA)
6. DE LE RUE Xavier (FRA)
8. COUDRAY Alex (SUI)
9. FAVIER Simon (FRA)
9. KESTENHOLZ Ueli (SUI)
9. MORAS Fred (FRA)
9. ORLEY Flo (AUT)

Women

1. LEISIBACH Ruth (SUI)
2. FASNACHT Géraldine (SUI)
3. KARVINEN Anniina (FIN)
4. LARSEN Julie (USA)
4. PEKAREK Birgit (AUT)