Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France — January 23, 2011 — The Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch went off in Courmayeur on the Italian side of Mont Blanc today. A strong field of freeriders were surprised by the quality of both the snow and the number of features. As a result, the north face of Mont Fortin produced high-quality runs that were fast and fluid with multiple airs.
Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch
The world's best freeriders kicked off the official Freeride World Tour in Courmayeur during a day that boasted an astonishingly high level of action. Although it was difficult to know what the conditions were going to be until they dropped in, riders reported they were really happy to find a face this good despite poor conditions throughout the Alps. The 300–meter face was crowned by three different starting options and competitors described it as having loads of playful line choices, any of which could have produced the winning run.
In the end the day the competition was dominated by the French who took all three podium spots in men's snowboarding and the top two spots in men's ski.
It was Aurélien Ducroz's (FRA) fast, smooth line and big, cleanly stomped airs that enabled the Chamonix local to return to glory and put him in the lead to regain his 2009 Freeride World Champion title. Setting the tone of the day, Adrien Coirier (FRA) has returned to 100% after two years of back injuries and opened the day with fast, committed skiing. Coirier's line also proved to be a successful line for 3rd place Reine Barkered (SWE).
In the Men's Snowboard division, Freeride World Champion Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) threw down what many thought to be the best run of the day with a fast clean double drop to straight line at the end of his run. With this win, de Le Rue continues his dominance of the Freeride World Tour by extending his streak of consecutive FWT wins to four.
Although the women all started from the same starting gate their lines were varied with many ladies focusing on fluidity. However, it was the impressive combination of fast, smooth lines combined with a couple of cleanly stuck airs that distanced Angel Collinson (USA) from the rest of the pack.
Today, it was the wild cards who stepped to the plate when freestyler Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI), competing in her rookie season of the tour, proved that women snowboarders can rip world class faces with aggressive grace. Second place was also taken by wild card Ursula Wohlschlager (AUT) which puts a new face on the women's snowboarding division.
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Official Results of the Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch
1. Aurélien Ducroz (FRA)
2. Adrien Coirier (FRA)
3. Reine Barkered (SWE)
1. Xavier de Le Rue (FRA)
2. Douds Charlet (FRA)
3. Aurélien Routens (USA)
1. Angel Collinson (USA)
2. Marja Persson (SWE)
3. Janette Hargi (SWE)
1. Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI)
2. Ursula Wohlschlager (AUT)
3. Nathalie Zenklussen (SUI)
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. The North Face Masters of Crystal Mountain 2011 by Swatch and PrimaLoft (USA)
Date: 7 February 2011 — Men — Snowboard
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. 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
About the Freeride World Tour
The Freeride World Tour was launched in 2008 and following three full seasons it is recognized by riders, the ski industry and the media as the pinnacle of the sport. In 2011, the best freeriders, men, women, skiers and snowboarders alike, will visit some of the world's most renowned ski resorts in pursuit of the world title.
For 2011 the men's tour has expanded from four to six FWT stops with events in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc — FRA, Engadin St Moritz — SUI, Kirkwood — USA, Sochi — RUS, Fieberbrunn — AUT, and Verbier — SUI. The women's events have a new schedule for 2011 that includes six main stops in La Clusaz — FRA, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc — FRA, Hochfugen — AUT, Kirkwood — USA, Taos — USA, Nendaz — SUI, and Verbier — SUI.
The riders' best three contest results from the Freeride World Tour 2011 will count towards qualifying for the season finale, the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch. Freeride World Champion titles will be awarded using the four best results from the six FWT11 stops including the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch.
The Freeride World Tour is supported by Freeride World Qualifier events around the world where the same criteria for security, contest format and judging is applied. The FWQ events' biggest aim is to feed new talent from all over the world into the elite level tour.