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Freeride World Tour: The Grand Final

The World Titles are up for grabs and there’s fresh powder snow for the final of the FWT 2021 this week. There’s a Brit in the final and Cody Bramwell has already stood on top of the podium this season. The event is now set for Tuesday 23rd.

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The last stop is the 25th anniversary edition of Xtreme Verbier on the iconic Bec des Rosses.

The mountain peaks at 3,223 metres and provides a descent of 650m.

Xtreme Verbier was due to mark its 25th year in 2020 but Covid-19 intervened and it was called off.

The long-awaited celebratory competition will take place on Tuesday after some delays due to the weather.

Where to Watch

The competition is closed to the public but can be watched live on RedBull TV or you can watch it live on PlanetSKI below.

The competition starts at 8.30am CET, the live stream commences from 7.00am CET.

Conditions are set to be epic after heavy snowfall and the world’s best freeriders have been out enjoying it…

Xtreme Verbier – photo D DAHER

The Battle For the Titles

A total of 10 ski men, 5 ski women, 5 snowboard men and 4 snowboard women have made the cut to fight it out for the title of Freeride World Tour Champion.

They include the British snowboarder, Cody Bramwell, who won Stop #1 in Arcalis, Andorra.

He is sitting in third place behind Blake Moller and Victor de le Rue.

It’s tight but the top riders in each category are hot favourites for the Verbier crown.

They are Ross Tester (USA – ski men), Hedvig Wessel (Norway – ski women), Blake Moller (USA – snowboard men) and Marion Haerty (France – snowboard women).

Haerty proved untouchable during Stop #3 in Fieberbrunn in Austria, securing her fourth FWT Title and breaking the FWT all-time record for titles.

Switzerland’s local rider Elisabeth Gerritzen (ski women) knows the mountain and conditions well and can never be ruled out.

Wildcards

Several wildcards have been invited to compete, including two legends who didn’t make the cut for the grand final.

Drew Tabke and Sammy Luebke, both from the USA, have been on tour since 2013.  Luebke has three World Titles (2016, 2017 and 2018) in men’s snowboard and Tabke won the men’s ski category in 2013.

Leo Slemett (France) broke his elbow earlier this season but is ready to get back on his skis in Verbier.

Triple World Champion and 2018 Xtreme Verbier Champion, Arianna Tricomi of Italy, has spent most of the season away from competition and will be out to regain her Verbier crown with a wildcard entry.

The only Austrian skier on the FWT, Tao Kreibich replaces the injured Isaac Freeland (USA).

Any points accrued by these wildcards will not count towards their overall rankings, and world titles will be disputed only between the athletes who qualified after the Fieberbrunn competition.

FWT at Fieberbrunn – photo @freerideworldtour/©MIAKNOLL

Xtreme Verbier & the Freeride World Tour

The inaugural Xtreme Verbier was held in 1996.

In 2008, the event’s success led to the creation of an international championship consisting of five stops, climaxing at the Xtreme Verbier.

And so the Freeride World Tour was born.

Our editor, James Cove, was fortunate enough to be asked to be one of the selected media judges at the FWT round in Tignes in 2009.

He teamed up with a certain Glenn Plake.

Freeride World Tour

Freeride World Tour Judges. Image © PlanetSKI

The Grande Finale is always in Verbier.

And PlanetSKI was there in 2009 and has been in attendance many times, though sadly not this year.

See the video from James back in 2009.

It may be a while ago, but the spirit of the event remains similar,  even though it seems like a Pathe News film from yesteryear!

 

Keep an eye on freerideworldtour.com and on the FWT social media channels for competition updates and rider news as the FWT21 title races conclude at the Xtreme Verbier.

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