Big Finale of the FWQ FINALS 2022 | Freeride World Tour

Big Finale of the FWQ FINALS 2022

 

The last of the Region 1 FWQ FINALS took place in Gurgl yesterday; allowing 9 athletes to claim their tickets to the Freeride World Tour 2023.

The Austrian event was a spectacular show with riders sending outstanding runs and tricks. The competition took place on the “Hangerer” face, and was a success thanks to the local organizer crew of Open Faces and their brilliant work.

Riders should be proud of the resilience, nerves of steel, and skills that were showcased on the Hangerer, a venue with 45 degrees of steepness and vertical areas. The two wildcards chosen by Open Faces were Michael Strauss, and Andreas Jenewein, both integrated the ski men category.

SNOW MEN

The snowboard men category, first to drop, had access to an untracked face, resulting in various, unrepeated line options. Most of the riders were not afraid to challenge themselves, and some of their airs resulted in impressive wipeouts! Thankfully, no accidents occurred.

Gabriel Bletton rode an interesting entrance into the face, aiming a gnarly couloir. His run was filled with huge jumps and a double; resulting in a high score of 80 pts. His run dominated the category and allowed him to secure the final FWT23 spot.

Hugo Serra chose a more cautious approach due to the rocky conditions. He did not display his freestyle tricks, but his technical, fluid and clean riding allowed for a mesmerizing watch. Nevertheless, he came second with 74.33 points.

Enzo Nilo had the possibility of qualifying but the cards were unfortunately not in his favour. He executed a fluid and fast run, and even attempted an exit of a cliff at the highest point – which no other rider did. He scored 72.33 pts and stepped onto the podium once more this season, in third place.

SNOW WOMEN

The snowboard women category was the second category to brave the face. Despite, the various sharks, and deep sections that threatened to catch noses, it was quite the show! Mikaela Hollsten was the second rider to drop in, playing it smart in the upper part of the face. She executed a steady run, kept her speed constant, and cleanly took a double in the middle of the right side of the face. This resulted in her scoring 68.67 points and claiming first place.

Anna Orlova, a former FWT tour rider, rode a conservative run in comparison to her normal style of powerful and fast riding. Towards the end of her run, she stomped a nice air, allowing her to claim 66.67 points and second place.

Estelle Rizzolio took the gnarliest line, with several cliffs on the way down. Some hesitations cost her some points, resulting in her scoring 60 points, and missing out on the qualification by coming third.

SKI WOMEN

Eva Battola experienced the sweet taste of victory once again. Her run showcased her nerves of steel, as there was no sign of hesitation on the first big air undertaken. Her confidence grew, allowing her to advance to an exposed, no fall area in which she went on to stomp a big cliff as an exit. No other woman discovered this area, and this allowed her to score 74.33 points.

Manon Loschi came second, and this resulted in her in claiming one of the tickets to the FWT23. Her run proved that stomping big cliffs is no challenge to her. Her run was extremely fluid and fast.

Jenna Keller came third with 70 points. She started her run in difficult and technical terrain due to the various sharks and went on to stomping to impressive doubles.

SKI MEN

Ski men was a nerve-racking and exciting show, as everyone around the finish line was cheering on their favourite riders. The top 6 riders were very close together, with point differences of only 10 points.

Like snowboard men, riders were not afraid to execute brave, and risky runs – quite a few impressive wipeouts were seen like Ben Richard’s and Victor Hale-Woods.

FWT rider Valentin Rainer claimed 1st position with a beautifully clean and fluid run which included a massive backflip. Manu Banard proved his skills and technique in riding; he came second with 89.33 points. He is now referred to by Flo Orley as the man of triples and doubles as every single one was executed perfectly.

Last but not least, Oscar Mandin executed one of his most impressive runs of the season, in which his strong abilities were on display, allowing him to come third with 88.67 points. He stomped a backflip towards the end of his run, which resulted in a celebratory second section.

This would not be had been an FWQ FINAL without disappointments as well as celebrations. Congratulations to all the riders who put on an amazing show today and a HUGE thanks goes out to our marvellous hosts – Open Faces and Gurgl.

The Hangerer face is an awe-inspiring venue to host the ultimate FWQ Final, and the support of the Gurgl resort is invaluable. Stay tuned to freerideworldtour.com to see our freshly qualified riders sending it into FWT23, and catch all the action in the 2023 FWQ series.