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Local snowboarder Blake Moller over the weekend wound up winning the overall world title at the Freeride World Tour Championships at Xtreme Verbier in Verbier, Switzerland, while local skier Kevin Nichols finished the winter ranked 6th in the world. Here’s the press release from the Freeride World Tour:
Freeride World Tour Champions were crowned today in Verbier, Switzerland at the Xtreme Verbier, the final stop of FWT 2022. The Xtreme closes a competitive season that will be remembered for breakout performances from Wildcards and rookies, and new world champions in all four categories.
XTREME VERBIER WINNERS
Challenging conditions couldn’t hold back the talented field of riders, who set new performance standards for mixing freeride and freestyle on the steep, gnarly slopes of the Bec Des Rosses venue.
Manuela Mandl (AUT) delivered a masterful run to take a dominant win in Snowboard Women. She was out of contention for the world title but won by a nearly 11-point margin. Victor De Le Rue (FRA) returned to competition as a Wildcard and won the men’s category with a high-speed run down the steepest section of the venue.
It feels well earned – we had tough, tough conditions. It has been one of the big aims of my entire career to win at least once in Verbier – and now I did it! So yes, I’m overwhelmingly happy.
Both of the ski categories were won by Swiss skiers. 22 year-old FWT rookie Sybille Blanjean (SUI) won in Ski Women. Blanjean, a Verbier local, grew up watching the legendary Xtreme, and achieved victory on her first attempt. Taking the victory in Ski Men was Maxime Chabloz (SUI), who again delivered his winning combination of powerful technical skiing and high-flying freestyle elements.
I was so scared this morning that I was crying in my dad’s arms. But I went up and just told myself to have fun. The run was really tough but I managed to hold on. It’s my first podium on the Tour, and for it to be a win at home really means a lot!
2022 WORLD CHAMPIONS
Tiphanie Perrotin (FRA) emerged by the thinnest of margins to become FWT Champion in Snowboard Women. Erika Vikander (USA) had worn the leader’s golden bib all season, but Perrotin overtook her in the overall ranking by only 500 points. After finishing 2nd overall in 2021, Blake Moller (USA) became the FWT Champion in Snowboard Men.
We were expecting tough conditions, but these were some of the best we’ve ridden all year! I had a slow start at the first event in Spain, but my results kept improving at each stop.I couldn’t be happier right now.
Jess Hotter (NZL) became FWT Champion in Women’s Ski. Though Hedvig Wessel (NOR) chased her all season, Hotter was out of reach in the overall ranking with two event victories and one 2nd place. Maxime Chabloz (SUI) capped his rookie season on tour not only with the event win, but the title of FWT Champion in Men’s Ski. Chabloz finishes the season with three event victories, having previously won in Ordino Arcalís and Kicking Horse Golden.
It’s been a very emotional two or three weeks. After two wins everyone expects you to do really well, so Fieberbrunn was tough with a bad result. So coming here and taking the win with the support of the home crowd is just unbelievable.
FWT 2022 IS COMPLETE
The Xtreme Verbier marks the conclusion of FWT 2022! The party in Verbier will go late into the night, but the story isn’t quite complete. The last events of the FWQ Finals are this week, which will decide the qualified rookies for next year’s tour. Full FWT 2023 roster and calendar updates will follow soon. For more emotions this summer, look for the E Bike World Tour to kick off in June.
Safety bulletin: Aymar Navarro (ESP) crashed during his run and was evacuated from the competition site. At time of publication he is in stable condition and awaiting further tests at the regional hospital.
Xtreme Verbier Snowboard Women
Overall Ranking Snowboard Women
Xtreme Verbier Snowboard Men
Overall Ranking Snowboard Men
Xtreme Verbier Ski Women
Overall Ranking Ski Women
Xtreme Verbier Ranking Ski Men
Overall Ranking Ski Men