Mountainwatch | Press Release
Verbier, Switzerland : Culminating at 3,223m, the Bec de Rosses in Verbier has provided the canvas for some dream-completing runs. Each year, with an ominous descent of 650m, the world’s best freeriders throw everything they have at this mythical mountain.
The candles burned bright last year to celebrate the 25th anniversary, but COVID-19 halted the event in its tracks. Now, competition is ready to ignite for the long-awaited 25th edition of the Xtreme Verbier.
Since the inaugural Xtreme Verbier in 1996, spectators have witnessed the evolution of a sport that has pushed the laws of physics and redefined what is possible in the mountains. In 2008, the event’s success led to the creation of an international championship consisting of five stops, climaxing at the Xtreme Verbier. And thus, the Freeride World Tour was born. For the 25th edition this year, Toyo Tires are on-board as the main partner. Sharing the same core values – innovation, quality and performance – they will help the FWT deliver the most extreme competition that is always the Grande Finale in Verbier.
The battle for the FWT title is tight, with the top riders in each category – Ross Tester(USA-ski men), Hedvig Wessel (NOR-ski women), Blake Moller (USA-snowboard men) all look comfortable wearing the golden bib and are hot contestants for the Verbier crown while Marion Haerty (FRA-snowboard women) proved herself untouchable during the Stop#3 in Fieberbrunn, securing her fourth FWT Title and breaking the FWT all-time record for titles.
The local rider Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI-ski women) know the mountain and conditions well and can never be counted out. Add to the mix Swedish favorite, Kristofer Turdell(SWE), who has trained harder than ever to accomplish the top spot in Verbier, and the stage is set for a colossal showdown View the full roster and the riders who’ve made the cut for Xtreme Verbier and FWT22, including 10 ski men, 5 ski women, 5 snowboard men and 4 snowboard women. Who will stamp their names in freeride history at the 25th Xtreme Verbier?
Two freeride legends, Drew Tabke (USA) and Sammy Luebke (USA) did not make the cut. As they both pushed the sport to new levels, FWT has granted each of them a wildcard for the Xtreme Verbier 2021. Both have been on tour since 2013, with Sammy boasting three World Titles (2016, 2017, 2018) in the men’s snowboard category and Drew earning the World Title (2013) in the men’s ski category.
Leo Slemett (FRA) broke his elbow earlier this season, but is ready to get back on the Bec des Rosses with the men skiers. Triple World Champion and 2018 Xtreme Verbier Champion, Arianna Tricomi (ITA), has spent most of the season away from competition, and is hungry to regain the Verbier crown with a wildcard entry. The only Austrian skier on the FWT, Tao Kreibich (AUT) is replacing injured Isaac Freeland (USA).
Any points accrued by these wildcards will not count towards their overall rankings, and world titles will only be disputed between the athletes who qualified after the Fieberbrunn competition. But can these world-class wildcards shake up the field and challenge the FWT21 Xtreme Verbier qualified athletes? We’ll find out soon.
The competition will be closed to the public. However, Red Bull is the production host for this awe-inspiring event, which will be streamed LIVE on Red Bull TV.
Stay tuned on freerideworldtour.com and the FWT social media channels for competition updates and rider news as the countdown to this historic competition ticks away.