Luebke and Collomb-Patton win First Stop of #FWT14
14:31 22-01-2014 by FWT
Click here for full results
Watch the other runs here.
Check the full photo gallery here.
Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Italy – January 22, 2013 – The first stop of the 2014 SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT), concluded today on Cresta Youla. Although challenging visibility prevented the attempt last Friday from being successful, an exciting competition thrilled fans and athletes today at Courmayeur Mont Blanc. The international field of competitors was extremely eager to begin the season and start the quest to become the next FWT champions. Courmayeur Mont Blanc is the only stop on the FWT, which is exclusively a men’s competition.
Conditions in the Alps have been very difficult in the first part of the winter with high avalanche risks and thin snow in many places. Despite the tricky conditions, the FWT organizers together with the local guides found a face for the first stop of the competition season. Sunny skies and soft snow conditions provide the competition date was well worth the wait.
“We are certainly facing very tricky snow conditions in the Alps early this season,” said FWT General Manager Europe Nicolas Hale-Woods. “On top of the safety aspect which is our priority number one, we also have to deal with what the weather has to offer in order to launch an event. We had a small window last Friday and tried to complete the competition without success. So we all waited in Courmayeur Mont Blanc for a better chance to compete and finally ran the event today in great conditions on the sunny side of the Monte Bianco. "
The competition began with men's snowboarding. American rider Sammy Luebke worked his way to the top of the men's snowboard podium with a super fast start and a playful run ending with a solid front side 360. Luebke's run earned the top score of 80.50.
“I identified my line right away on the first day,” said Men’s Snowboard Winner Sammy Luebke. “I considered other lines the last few days but am very glad I stuck with my original choice. The snow was really good with face shots throughout the venue.”
In second place, Sascha Hamm of Great Britain earned a 72.5 with a high velocity run featuring a well-executed high-speed double cliff-drop. Rounding out the snowboard podium in third place, Ludo Guilllot-Diat of France executed a hard charging style, which earned him a score of 70.25.
In the men's skiing competition, FWT rookie rider Loïc Collomb-Patton of France managed the win with a high score of 88.50. Collomb-Patton's run consisted of an incredible high speed double right at the top of the venue and a huge 360 at the bottom. Running early in the start order, Collomb-Patton anxiously watched the remaining skiers who aimed to steal his lead.
"I was nervous to be on the Freeride World Tour but I was sure of my line," said Collomb-Patton. "I am so excited to have won my first competition of the season."
Following Collomb-Patton closely with a score of 87.5 was Josh Daiek of the United States. Daiek's dynamic and fully charged run proved speculations he is seriously pursing to regain a championship title this season. In third place with a score of 82.25 was Jérémie Heitz of Switzerland. There was little sign that Heitz is returning to the tour after injuries last season as he charged into the venue with a triple air right out of the start gate.
The women will join the men for the second event in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc on January 25. The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® then continues its competition schedule with Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen on February 1, Kirkwood, California on March 1 Revelstoke, Canada March 10, and will conclude in Verbier, Switzerland on March 22. The remainder of the schedule includes both men’s and women’s ski and snowboard competition.
"The snow was not easy to ride, it was firm and packed. Despite the snow conditions I am very happy with the first event at Courmeyer, I finished on the podium, it was a really good day!"
"I am glad that I got to take my run before the skiers. The snow conditions were amazing! I had a blast doging rocks, and riding fluffy snow. I ended up taking a completely different line then I had planned, and everything went well until a light slam at the finish line. At the next event I will concentrate more on the finish line."
"My initial line choice was pretty popular among the other riders, so I changed my plan to get better snow. The top of my run went pretty well, but the bottom part was tricky - I landed pretty flat, and couldn't hold it."
" I didn't have a lot of energy at the start becuase I have a heavy cold and didn't sleep well last night. My line was a bit of a blind take off, but everything worked out very well."
"This was my first competition after my crash in Fieberbrunn. I didn't chose a hard run so I was able to ski just like I planned, everything went well."
"The event was a lot fo fun, with great snow and even a couple of faceshots. For Chamonix I expect even better snow and plan to have fun with friends and to keep skiing hard."
"I am happy that we waited this week to compete, the snow conditions were perfect. My run was great, it was a little hard to go for speed because of the rocks, but there were some fun lines."
"I had a late start number so there wasn't very much snow left at the entry of my line. My goal was to reach the top 5 so I gave it my all and picked a straight line - mission accomplished!"
"I had two lines planned and after watching some of the other athletes I went for my second plan. I went very fast in the beginning, then stuck a 360 and a backflip, and safely rode to the finish line. I'm very happy with 9th place! I reached my goal to complete my FWT debut without crashing."