With a 2-day competition format that cut the field in half after the first day, many of the athletes chose to step things up by launching big airs, which resulted in exciting skiing including a highly unusual number of crashes. Kirkwood young gun Josh Daiek (USA) recorded his first-ever win on his home mountain. US athlete Angel Collinson earned the top women’s spot. Several of the world’s top riders did not advance to the second day of the contest, producing some unexpected results and changes in the overall Freeride World Tour ranking, with young French talent Jérémy Prévost taking the lead. Janette Hargin (SWE) still remains at the top of the women’s ranking but her overall lead is shrinking.
The Freeride World Tour teamed up with the North American Freeskiing Championships in Kirkwood for the 3rd FWT stage 2011 (men and women skiers), with the opportunity for more athletes to compete against the world’s top riders. Fresh snow and a playful course meant two full days of aggressive skiing. Scores from both days were accumulated to determine the final ranking.
With an incredibly talented group of skiers converging on Kirkwood for this event it was the North Americans who dominated on home ground. The big winner was Kirkwood's hometown hero Josh Daiek (USA), followed by Kevin O’Meara (USA) from neighboring Squaw Valley and Guerlain Chicherit (FRA), who showed convincingly that he has still got what it takes to claim a spot on the podium despite taking a break from competition.
The top Freeride World Tour skiers threw down some of the best runs of the weekend however their big lines unfortunately resulted in big crashes and the top six Freeride World Tour skiers all missed the cut going into the second day of competition.
One of the tour’s young rookies, Jérémy Prévost from France (22 years old), qualified from the Freeride World Qualifier ranking last season, just missed out on the podium by placing fourth. With his impressive performance he now claims the top spot of the Freeride World Tour 2011 ranking! Samuel Anthamatten (SUI), also on his rookie year on the FWT, absolutely “crushed” the event face on Day 2 with a line that was not only one of the fastest but also the highest-scoring single-run of the day, finishing 10th overall.
Jérémy Prévost: "I was really happy with my run. Going into today's event I knew I was leading the FWT riders so I didn't want to take too many risks. I spotted a big cliff but when I saw the landing was full of sharks I decided to hit a lot of little jumps with speed instead. It's the North American Freeskiing Championships so I still wanted to ski a good line."
Overall Men Ski Rankings
As top Freeride World Tour finisher in Kirkwood, Jérémy Prévost (FRA), is holding the hot seat of the Freeride World Tour Ranking 2011 and placing former tour leader Henrik Windstedt (SWE) in second.
The results from this event means another major re-shuffle of a group that has not been dominated by any one rider. Following this, the third of six events, the men’s field becomes even more competitive and now more than ever, it’s any rider’s game going into the next stage in Sochi, Russia.
On both days, the ladies started first and took full advantage of the untracked snow to produce clean, fluid runs including impressive cliff jumps.
With a top women's field the battle promised to be exciting. Janina Kuzma (NZL) won the event in 2010 but this year, despite an impressive run, she was unable to repeat and placed second. Angel Collinson (USA) managed to take first place with a smooth run that included several clean airs. The podium was completed by Rebecca Selig (USA).
Angel Collinson: “I had a little bit of a lead coming in from yesterday so I didn’t want to take too many chances. I wanted to take a run with a few small airs and just skied fast and fluid.”
Overall Women Ski Rankings
The results from today will not be enough to unseat overall leader Janette Hargin (SWE – 8th in Kirkwood) from her position at the top of the leader board. However, the results mean a big jump in the rankings for Collinson with two wins this season. Janina Kuzma as well as Janette’s sister Christine Hargin (SWE) will also narrow the gap on Janette Hargin’s overall lead as a result of today’s outcome.
Next Stop: Sochi, Russia
The next event on the six-stop 2011 Freeride World Tour will be the Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011 in Sochi, Russia on 5 March 2011 (men ski & snowboard).
The Freeride World Tour 2011 six stages
1. Nissan Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch (FRA)
Date: 22 January 2011 - Men / Women - Ski / Snowboard
2. Nissan Freeride Engadin St. Moritz 2011 by Swatch (SUI)
Date: 30 January 2011 - Men - Ski / Snowboard
3.a The North Face Masters of Crystal Mountain 2011 by Swatch and PrimaLoft (USA)
Date: 7 February 2011 – Men - Snowboard
3.b North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood 2011 by Swatch, The North Face and Sierra Nevada (USA)
Date: 25 February 2011 - Men / Women - Ski
4. Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011 (RUS)
Date: 5 March 2011 - Men - Ski / Snowboard
5. Swatch Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan (AUT)
Date: 12 March 2011 - Men - Ski / Snowboard
6. Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch (SUI)
Date: 19 March 2011 (Finals) - Men / Women - Ski / Snowboard
Women’s Main Events 2011
1. La Clusaz Radikal Mountain (FRA)
Date: 16 January 2011
2. Nissan Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch (FRA)
Date: 22 January 2011
3. Big Mountain Hochfügen (AUT)
Date: 5 February 2011
4a. The North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood 2011 by Swatch, The North Face and Sierra Nevada (USA)
Date: 25 February 2011 - SKI ONLY
4b. The North Face Masters of Snowboarding 2011 by Swatch, Kirkwood (USA)
Date: 5 March 2011 - SNOWBOARD ONLY
5. Salomon Extreme Freeride Championship, Taos, New Mexico, (USA)
Date: 5 March 2011 - SKI ONLY
6. Nendaz Freeride (SUI)
Date: 12 March 2011
7. Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch (SUI)
Date: 19 March 2011 - FINAL for qualified riders
8. Röldal Freeride (NOR)
Date: 30 April 2011