The fourth stop of the 2011 Freeride World Tour took place this weekend at Rosa Khutor, the Russian ski resort that will host the ski and snowboard events at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
In the men's ski field, due to lost luggage, several skiers were riding in rental boots and borrowed clothing on day one of the contest. For that reason, riders and organizers agreed to nullify the results from day 1 and use the scores from day 2 as the final result.
Samuel Anthamatten, a young mountain guide from Zermatt, Switzerland, in his first year on the tour, claimed top honors in the ski division. In second was Chamonix, France's Aurélien Ducroz who persevered despite a crippling injury suffered on day 1. "This was the hardest contest in my life," Ducroz said. "I tore my quadriceps muscle on the first competition day. It hurt really badly and the doctor advised me not to compete today. But finally I decided to go for it. It hurt so much but I guess I skied with my head and not my legs today."
Somehow the snowboarders were able to avoid the lost luggage debacle and therefore competed over two full days with the scores from both days averaged to achieve the final result. Chamonix's Jonathon Charlet won day 1 with his trademark buttery style followed by France's Xavier de Le Rue and Austria's Flo Orley, in second and third, respetively. On day 2, de Le Rue broke a binding halfway through his run, which killed his chances for a podium spot. After the scores from both days were totaled, the title belonged to Flo Orley. Second place went to Mitch Toelderer from Austria followed by Jonathon Charlet in third.
Following the Sochi stop, the ski men's overall leader board sees yet another new name at the top: Samuel Anthamatten. Anthamatten is followed closely by Ducroz, who jumps from fourth to second, and Henrik Windstedt, who drops from second to third. Last week's overall leader, Jérémy Prévost crashed out and disappears from the top three.
In the snowboarding men's overall race, three-time Freeride World Champion de Le Rue has been knocked from the top position down to second by Orley, who now assumes the overall lead. Third place is a tie between Douds Charlet and Mitch Toelderer.
Next up on the tour, the athletes head to Fieberbrunn, Austria, on March 12. After that, the final stop of the tour takes place in Verbier, Switzerland, on March 19. The best three events of each rider will be used to calculate the final score to see who will get the coveted invitations to shred the legendary Bec des Rosses at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier.