Featured Image: Jeremy Bernard/ Freeride World Tour, Skier: Elisabeth Gerrtizen
Pressure was at an all-time high for the final stop of the 2019 Freeride World Tour (FWT) in Verbier, Switzerland, as the world’s top skiers laid down their best lines in hopes of claiming the coveted overall title. Competition day, Saturday, March 23, 2019, was met with clear blue skies and conditions suitable for rowdy, competitive skiing from all of the athletes. After all was skied and done on the legendary Bec des Rosses venue, Markus Eder and Arianna Tricomi walked away the overall champions of the 2019 FWT.
On the ladies’ side, Elisabeth Gerrtizen (SUI) threw down on her home turf, sending two massive airs in the top section of the course, another giant air in the middle section and fearlessly straight-lining the bottom section for a first-place finish at XTREME Verbier and the overall bronze for the 2019 season. The reigning overall queen, Arianna Tricomi (ITA), defended her title with a second-place finish in Verbier that linked together technical hits and strong skiing from the Italian. American veteran, Hazel Birnbaum finished out her final season on the Tour with a stellar third-place finish but it was American rookie, Jacqueline Pollard who took home the second-place overall crown and the Rookie of the Year award.
For the men, Wadeck Gorak (FRA) pulled out an impressive performance for the final stop of his rookie season on the Tour with two massive, technical airs in the top sections and a perfectly-executed backflip in the bottom section to earn him a first-place finish in Verbier and fifth place in the overall standings. 2017 FWT champion, Leo Slemett (FRA), stomped out another podium-worthy run through a new zone, landing huge airs, a 360 and a backflip to take second place for the day and third place for the season. Sweden’s Kristofer Turdell took home third place at Verbier with arguably the fastest run of the day and earned the season’s overall silver medal. Although Markus Eder (ITA) did not land on the podium at the final stop, the skier’s consistent performance throughout the Tour earned him the overall crown.
The 2019 Freeride World Tour saw returning talent and fresh faces, alike, throw down massive airs, take on technical features and stomp their way through the competition circuit. Congratulations to the 2019 FWT champions, if this year’s performances are any indication, the 2020 Tour is set to be rowdier than ever. To watch the full replay of XTREME Verbier, click the video below.