This has possibly been the most unpredictable season put on by the Freeride World Tour to date. The obvious COVID – induced travel restrictions combined with the relentless journey of trekking across Europe along with variable snow conditions would be enough to make any sane person tap out. But time and time again, this group of gladiators have proved that they are no normal, sane collection. The riders descended upon the Wildseeloder in the legendary Fieberbrunn, Austria after a few days of “warm up” ripping. “Warm up” being in quotes because the skiing done in the days leading up to Stop #3 was anything but. Just peep what tied 3rd place champion Carl Regnér Erikson and friends got up too. Dedicated studying and intense preparation clearly paid off as we were able to witness time and time again why these boys and girls have undoubtedly earned their spots on this years tour.
A slew of over-delivering storms in the proceeding days plastered the competition face of Wildseeloder, leaving it ripe for the plucking as the riders eagerly scouted and scoped lines. There were highlights galore through out the day, all of which can be seen in the FWT complete Stop #3 broadcast. After crushing the competition at Stop #1 in Ordino-Arclais, Norway’s Hedvig Wessel grabbed second on the podium in the Women’s Ski after laying down a beautiful, textbook big mountain line. She didn’t need to pull out any jaw dropping backflips on this one, and let her crisp riding speak for itself. On the mens side, after cleanly claiming Stop #1, 22 year old Ross Tester grabbed his SECOND TITLE OF THE SEASON, winning the day with a heater of a backflip that was stomped without hesitation, and a technical and overtly stylish cork 3. Ross is playing it safe where it needs to be, and letting his cajones hit the floor when he feels like it. Seems to be a recipe for success. We also saw, to my knowledge, the first ever FWT tie for the third place spot. The two Sweedish compadres, Kristofer Trudell and Carl Regnér Erikson laid down equally impressive lines, with Kristofer absolutely turning on the TURBO jets and hitting the ‘Eagle’ double cliff and Carl steaming into a beautiful 360.
With the Fieberbrunn Stop #3 now complete, the athletes are in high anticipation of the long awaited finale face at Bec des Rosses in Verbier, Switzerland. There’s no doubt, the people will be ON THEIR FEET!
Men’s Ski Podium:
- Ross Tester (USA)
- Reine Barkered (SWE)
- Kristofer Trudel (SWE), Regnér Eriksson (SWE)
Women’s Ski Podium:
- Zuzanna Witych (POL)
- Hedvig Wessel (NOR)
- Tracy Chubb (USA)
Photography by Dom Daher & Jeremy Bernard
For a full look of all of the round three madness, check out the Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn page right here. Complete with a start to finish live broadcast, videos, photos and more. THE FUTURE IS NOW!