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The Nissan Russian Adventure will launch the 2009 Freeride World Tour: Get ready for the first of the 4 FWT stops in Sochi, Russia, January 20th - 25th

The top athletes of the 2008 Freeride World Ranking are full of anticipation as they prepare for the new season.

With great snow already covering all the Alps, French skiers Aurélien Ducroz (3rd FWT 08) and Sébastien Michaud (2nd FWT 08) are warming up their legs to get ready to go for their 2009 goal: to be the Freeride World Champion! Henrik Windstedt (1st FWT 08), amazing Swedish all-round skier (Freestyle and Big mountain specialist) probably does not agree with these French guys because he wants to hold on to his title for a second season! So does the American talent, Cody Townsend (5th FWT 08), who is one of the main favorites for the FWT’s second stop on the mythic Tram Face, on his home mountain at Squaw Valley, USA!

Sébastien Michaud (FRA): «My motivation is still there. At the age of 36, you don’t think about competing in the same way as when you were 25. Pressure to get top results, that’s been gone for a long time now. Only the pure pleasure matters now. To take in every moment, riding with your friends all across the globe. The FWT is good for our sport. The organizers had the great idea to actually consult riders on the judging and qualification systems. What really impressed me was the fact we cannot go check out the face and ski on it before the competition. The true essence of freeriding is thus respected.»

Takuji Fujii, Managing Director, Nissan Motor Russia says: «Nissan is excited that Sochi is hosting the Freeride World Tour in Russia for the second consecutive year and to be raising the profile of this sport in our country. As professional athletes travel from all around the world to join the event, we look forward to seeing more and more local talent competing.»

Meanwhile, the snowboarding stars are also preparing themselves for a big season. Xavier de Le Rue (1st FWT 08) proved he is already back with a recent victory in boardercross. Swiss riders Ruth Leisibach (1st FWT 08) and Cyril Neri (4th FWT 08) are already showing great promise in the Valais Mountain range and are preparing themselves for the legendary Bec des Rosses — the Nissan Xtreme Verbier face and the location for the final of the Freeride World Tour.

The judging method and academy, developed this summer by the head judges, the organizers and the Pro Freeriders Board take the Freeride Evolution in the right direction.

The Freeride World Tour judging system has been fine-tuned recently and now uses a unique score called the Overall Impression instead of the former 5–score system. Together, organiser, riders and head judges have worked for hours to create and agree on a system that does «not force the rider to adapt his style to please a system but a new judging system open enough for every style to win» as confirmed by head snowboard judge, Berti Dernervaud. Due to the evolution of the Judging Method, only certified judges will be allowed to judge both FWT and FWQ events. Jon Orarback, head ski judge, explains that «this system encourages creativity and will really make it possible for the sport to develop!»

The Freeride World Tour 2009

Since 2008, the Freeride World Tour has made sports history bringing together international freeriders. For the first time, skiers and snowboarders, men and women, travel the world seeking the Freeride World Champion title.

The stages of the Freeride World Tour 2009 (FWT)

  • 20 — 25 January: Nissan Russian Adventure- Sochi, Russia
  • 27 February — 5 March: Nissan Tram Face — Squaw Valley USA — New event
  • 8 -14 March: Nissan Freeride de Tignes, France
  • 20 — 29 March: Nissan Xtreme — Verbier 09, Switzerland

The Freeride World Qualifier 2009 events (FWQ)

  • 30 January-2 February: the North Face Masters of Snowboarding — Snowbird (USA) — Sister event* of the Nissan Tram Face Squaw Valley USA
  • 5–15 February: Scott Big Mountain Fieberbrunn (AUT), sister event of the Nissan Freeride de Tignes (FRA)
  • 13–16 February: the North Face Masters of Snowboarding — Crested Butte (USA), sister event of the Nissan Tram Face — Squaw Valley USA
  • 15–19 February: Freeride de Chamonix (FRA)
  • 19–22 February: Winter Mysticxperience (ITA) Monte Rosa
  • 20–22 February: The Monster Golden Ticket in Squaw Valley USA, sister event of the Nissan Tram Face — Squaw Valley USA
  • 6–8 March: the North Face Masters of Snowboarding — Kirkwood (USA)
  • 4–7 March: Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships — Taos, New Mexico (USA)
  • 13–18 March: Nendaz Freeride (SUI), sister event of the Nissan Xtreme — Verbier 09 (SUI)
  • 31 March-5 April: Jasna Adrenaline (SK)
  • 22–26 April: Röldal Freeride Challenge (NOR), sister event of the Nissan Russian Adventure — Sochi 2010

*A sister event is a FWQ which will qualify the winners of each category to participate in the FWT event to which it is linked

2009 Freeride World Tour Media content & TV Distribution

New Press Kit:

A Press Kit that explains the Freeride World Tour, the unique Ski & Snowboard World Tour: new rules, new judging system and World Ranking as well as the freeride evolution driven by the athletes thanks to the Pro Freeriders Board.

New Media Library:

The new Freeride World Tour Media Library is now online to give you quick access to Free of rights photos & videos. You simply need to create your own pass word, search for the media you need and download them in just a few seconds!

Accreditations for the Freeride World Tour Events:

Please send us your accreditation requests and we will provide you support and info to organize your trip to join the FWT 09.

TV Distribution: Free of right videos

  • News format (3mn) & Rough cuts & Interviews (unilaterals): competition day + 1
  • Highlights (24–26min): competition day + 7
  • 26min Report on Freeride World Tour 2008: available now. Please send your request to Quattro Media: Florian Schnellinger —
  • Behind the scene clips & interviews: available throughout the season
  • Available now: Henrik Windtstedt (SWE), Aurélien Ducroz (FRA), Cody Townsend (USA), Cyril Neri (SUI), Berti Denervaud (SUI, Head Judge snowboard), Freeride World Tour 2009 teaser. Please send your request to Marianne Brechu:

International Press Officer:
Marianne Brechu
+33 611 99 24 76
& Karen Allais / Links Communication
+33 450 91 41 08

TV Distribution:

Quattro Media — Florian Schnellinger
+49 (0) 8093 — 572 58 (direct line)
+49 (0) 170 — 7672 422 (mobile)

Nissan are proud to be the founding partner of the Freeride World Tour, forming a key pillar in Nissan’s Sports Adventure programme which aims to support and promote adventure sports and an active outdoor lifestyle through world class events, media properties and integrated communications.

The Nissan Sports Adventure programme encompasses the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, UCI World Championships, the Nissan Outdoor Games and the Nissan Qashqai Challenge. Nissan Sports Adventure combines the spirit of adventure with the controlled elements and skills of more traditional sports within the context of challenging and ever evolving environments. This sports adventure ethos reflects Nissan’s passion for adventure, independence and continuous achievement.

For more information on Nissan’s Sports Adventure programme please visit:

Tags: FWT, NRA