1 April 2024

Third event of FWT Challenger by Orage Region 1 took place in Avoriaz

FWT Qualifier athletes and FWT relegated riders go large in tricky conditions.

A FWT Challenger by Orage event – the 2024 French Freeride Series Avoriaz FWT Challenger – has been completed today in Avoriaz, for the first time in the history of the French Freeride Series by Evolution 2. Conditions were difficult for the riders, following a cold night and poor visibility, but they improved as the day went on, with athletes turning up the heat on the slopes of this iconic French resort. They made the most of an abundance of line possibilities and many imposing cliffs, and the French athletes especially adapted to the snow and conditions to deliver exceptional performances. 


Ski Men

Mathys Fornasier (FRA) got super busy and original with his line choice to claim the win, which oozed confidence and speed, and included not one but two backflips and a squeaky-clean double. Not far behind was Edvin Olsson (SWE), who put down a super clean line to lock in second spot, finding some redemption after disappointing finishes in the opening two FWT Challenger by Orage events. He charged out of the gates and stomped a backflip, combining this with lots of cliffs and a clean double. Rounding off the podium was Virgile Didier (FRA), who, with two 360s and a bunch of other features, added this third to his second place in Kitzsteinhorn to shoot up to second in the overall rankings. 


I'm so stoked! Wasn't feeling it this morning with the conditions, but everything turned out awesome. Winning that FWT Challenger is huge, could open some doors for me next year on the FWT.

Mathys Fornasier, Winner 2024 French Freeride Series Avoriaz FWT Challenger

Ski Women 

Mia McNab (FRA) stormed into second in the overall rankings with a huge win in Avoriaz today. She started her run with a perfect backflip off a wind lip, then continued to put down a flawless line with lots of airtime. Jenna Keller (SUI) also chose to get inverted off the wind lip to help her on the way to second, delivering a clean run from top to bottom with multiple other drops. FWT relegated athlete Megane Betend (FRA) seemingly spent more time in the air than on her skis, claiming third place with her unwavering attack on the venue. 


I’m really happy with my run, especially landing the backflip up the top, as I wasn’t sure whether I would make it. Conditions were pretty good – overall, I’m really happy.

Mia McNab, Winner 2024 French Freeride Series Avoriaz FWT Challenger 

Snowboard Women 

It was a French 1-2-3 in the Snowboard Women’s category, with athletes going large and showcasing an incredible mix of freeride and freestyle. Noémie Equy (FRA) blew the field away with her fast and fluid riding, throwing in a frontside 360 and clean airs to take the top spot on the podium. Tiphanie Perrotin (FRA) again put her case forward for FWT requalification, sending multiple cliffs with absolute control to finish in second, ahead of Lou Ruiz (FRA) in third. 

The battle for FWT qualification is now down to two riders in this category, Noémie and Tiphanie, who have dominated and raced ahead of all other athletes. Noémie enjoys a narrow lead – just 100 points – so it will go down to the wire in the last event to decide who will jump to the big leagues. 


I’m really happy with my run. I changed my line this morning to adapt to the conditions, then added a 360 about five minutes before my run. The venue was cool, with many features to jump off, and the snow was soft, making it a little difficult to ride, but it was alright. I’m really happy to take the win again today.

Noémie Equy, Winner 2024 French Freeride Series Avoriaz FWT Challenger

Snowboard Men

In another French-dominated category, it was Enzo Nilo (FRA) who delivered the goods to enjoy his second consecutive FWT Challenger by Orage victory, and take a commanding lead in the overall rankings. He stacked his run with an insane number of tricks – including a backflip, switch 180 and two 360s – as well as a double drop to finish more than seven points clear of second place. Sacha Balicco (FRA) was that man, who pieced together a technical run with two 360s, including one to enter a spicy double drop. Gabin Bouzanne (FRA) rounded off the podium in third, combining a backflip, switch 180 and a pair of 360s but, unfortunately, a little buttcheck shaved some points off his score. 


I was pessimistic at the start of the day, but the conditions were better than I thought, as was the visibility. I am happy with the way I rode, and to win another contest is so cool.

Enzo Nilo, Winner 2024 French Freeride Series Avoriaz FWT Challenger

With three events down and only one to go in Region 1 of the FWT Challenger by Orage, the race to qualify for FWT 2025 is nearing a close. There are still valuable points up for grabs at the next event – 2024 Open Faces Obertauern FWT Challenger, with a weather window running April 6-10 – so the pressure is on for all athletes to perform. FWT dreams will be made and put on hold for riders next week, so be sure to tune in! Until then, keep an eye on the FWT social channels for all the latest updates as they drop.