Austrians dominate at Freeride WT
FWT SochiFWT AustriaFWT Verbier
The Austrians dominated on their home turf by taking four of the top six top spots in this weekend's Freeride World Tour held on a 1,900-foot face in Fieberbrunn, Austria. The contest marks the fifth stage on the men's six-event Freeride World Tour -- and the last event for athletes hoping to qualify for the season finale in Verbier this coming weekend.
In the men's ski division, Stefan Hausl, who grew up less than 30 minutes from Fieberbrunn, stuck a 50-foot air straight out of a chute for the win. Sweden's Reine Barkered placed second, and third place went to Fieberbrunn local Matthias Haunholder. This weekend's event boosts Hausl into the overall leader spot, just five points ahead of Samuel Anthamatten. In third place overall is Chamonix's Aurélien Ducroz, who is still suffering from a torn quadricep.
In the snowboard division, Austrian Mitch Toelderer stomped a huge double to edge out countrymen Max Zipser, who got second. Englishman James Stentiford got third for his first podium appearance of the season.
Toelderer's win this weekend was not enough to move him into the overall lead ahead of Flo Orley, however his score was enough to boost him into second place. Last year's Freeride World Tour champion Xavier de Le Rue, who's currently ranked third in the overall standings, launched a 45-footer, nailed a rock on the landing and tomahawked another 45 feet.
In a separate Freeride World Qualifier women's event also held this weekend in Nendaz, Switzerland, Sweden's Janette Hargin took first for the skiers. "That was my best competition run ever," Hargin said. "The run had everything: super fast skiing, big cliffs, and stomped landings."
Second place went to Janina Kuzma and third was France's Cecile Servan. The FWT overall leader going into this event, Angel Collinson, was competing at the Freeskiing World Tour event in Utah instead, so her Freeride World Tour ranking drops to the number two spot behind Hargin.
In the snowboard division, Kiwi rider Maria Kuzma (yes, she and Janina are sisters) scored her first Freeride World tour win outside of New Zealand. France's Elodie Mouthon took second and Anne-Flore Marxer pulled in third.
The top 13 men skiers, seven men snowboarders, six women skiers and four women snowboarders qualify for the final event of the Freeride World Tour, scheduled for March 19 on Verbier's Bec des Rosses.
For full results, check out Freerideworldtour.com.