Four Freeride World Champions were crowned in Verbier
The Frenchmen, Xavier de Le Rue in snowboard and Aurelien Ducroz in ski, are the Freeride World Champions 2009 while taking incredible victories on the mythical Bec des Rosses.
Xavier de Le Rue and Aurélien Ducroz, leading before the stage in Verbier, brought honor to their Golden Bibs with historic runs. On the windblown Bec des Rosses face with 55° areas which was even tougher than usual, they both opted for really tough lines. Though he had already won the Freeride World Champion title before heading down the slope, Xavier de Le Rue won the competition hands down, this being his second victory of the season after winning the Nissan Freeride de Tignes.
After his podiums at the Nissan Russian Adventure (2nd) and the Nissan Tram Face (3rd), Aurelien Ducroz was victorious in Verbier. Like his winning run in 2006, he revealed his mastery and ease on such steep slopes. Very emotional at the awards ceremony, Aurelien has now claimed his spot as the discipline leader.
The Swiss were also successful on the Bec des Rosses with Geraldine Fasnacht's victory in snowboard, third place for Raphy Gillioz in ski and Alex Coudray taking 2nd in the Freeride World Ranking in snowboard.
After her first victory just a few days ago, Geraldine Fasnacht continued her amazing come-back winning the Nissan Xtreme - Verbier. Starting from the right side of the face which was reserved for the women, her fluidity impressed everyone. She won ahead of Bibi Pekarek (AUT) and the new Freeride World Champion, Susan Mol (USA). Susan participated in the Freeride World Tour after having won a qualifier event; she then won the Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley USA.
Confirming her talent on the European slopes, she took the title ahead of Aline Bock (GER), the other revelation of this season winning in Sochi.
Raphy Gillioz (SUI), mountain guide in Verbier and chief ski patrol for the Mont Fort area, mesmerized the huge crowd gathered at the Col de Gentianes to admire the 14th edition of this legendary competition. By choosing the central line of which he alone knew the secrets, he climbed to the third step of the podium. Also, thanks to his great season taking 3rd in Sochi and Tignes, the snowboarder Alex Coudray took second of the Freeride World Ranking 2009.
Encouraged by her entire family that came all the way from Norway, Ane Enderud chose a creative line with impressive jumps. Thanks to her victory in Verbier, she took her first Freeride World Champion title just ahead of Marja Persson (SWE) and Jess McMillan (USA), who were all three on the podium of the Nissan Xtreme - Verbier. For the men, Reine Barkered (SWE), was the revelation of this season winning in Squaw Valley. He concluded the competition with a run packed with lots of quick jumps. Thanks to his 2nd place in Verbier,
he thus took second of the Freeride World Ranking 2009 just ahead of his compatriot Sverre Liliequist, winner in Sochi.
After patiently awaiting the best conditions for the competition, the organizers and those from the Tignes resort provided an amazing playground for the world's elite to reveal their talent.
The Nissan Tram Face ends with the cancellation of the second day. The organizers were obliged to regretfully cancel the much awaited second day focusing on the quality of the competition and riders’ security.
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