After a sparkling season full of epic events and breakthrough performances, the Freeride World Tour has four new World Champions.
Their names will go down in the history books – alongside a wealth of talented riders – as the FWT season draws to a close.
Ski men – Valentin Rainer
Valentin spent six years competing in FWT Junior and Challenger events before his breakthrough season on the FWT in 2022. He didn’t make the cut last season, but requalified through the FWT Challenger series to great avail, winning this year in spectacular fashion. Valentin put down an incredible run in Ordino Arcalís – combining speed and impeccable technique with a twist of freestyle – to take the win, and the rankings lead. He backed this up with a podium in Kicking Horse and just missed out on the medals in Fieberbrunn, finishing in fourth place.
Ski women – Justine Dufour-Lapointe
Justine’s season will be defined by her rapid rise to fame in the freeride discipline. She only recently made the switch from moguls skiing – where she boasts two Olympic medals and dozens of FIS World Cup podiums – to become FWT World Champion in her first season. Her skiing technique adapted perfectly to the big mountains, providing her with incredible consistency throughout the season, including a win in Andorra and a second place in Austria. Justine has once again proved to be an extraordinary athlete, with a second-to-none work ethic that has come up trumps.
Snowboard men – Ludovic Guillot-Diat
Ludo’s vast experience in big mountain riding and unyielding dedication to the sport have paid off with his maiden FWT World Champion crown. He has been on and off the tour since 2013, with multiple podiums during this time, as well as vast success on the FWT Challenger series. He secured his first FWT event victory this year in Ordino Arcalís, combining this early season success with three other podiums to dominate the category. This consistency is the result of a lot of hard work and determination from Ludo, earning him this outstanding achievement in an already stellar freeriding career.
Snowboard women – Katie Anderson
Katie proved herself too strong this season, locking in three out of four wins in extraordinary style. This is her first FWT crown, but she came close in 2021, finishing second in a super-consistent season that included three podiums. Katie also has a long list of accolades on the FWT Challenger series since 2018, highlighting her strength in the big mountains, and culminating in a dominant display this season.
Redefining the standards
Congratulations to the FWT23 World Champions, and to all the riders in each category who put everything on the line this season in the fight for victory. Each year, athletes continue to push each other to new limits, redefining what we think is possible in the big mountains.
This isn’t the end though folks, as the FWT Challenger series is still on the boil. Visit www.freerideworldtour.com to keep an eye out for the action, and be sure to follow the FWT social channels for all the latest news as it drops.