Emilien Badoux & Shannan Yates crowned 2014 Freeride World Tour Champs

Comments by Kelli Lynn Hargrove/

The 2014 Swatch Xtreme Verbier went off at Bec des Rosses, in Verbier, Switzerland, with Ralph Backstrom and Elodie Mouthon topping their respective leader boards. Though Mouthon managed to win this final tour stop, Shannan Yates racked up enough points throughout the 2014 tour to claim the overall Freeride World Tour title.

Ralph Backstrom took his second consecutive tour win in Verbier, charging hard down Bec des Rosses, though it was Emilien Badoux who snagged the overall 2014 tour title. Badoux took three of five podiums this season, becoming the first Swiss rider to take the overall win.

P: FWT

US Rider Steve Klasses riding down Bec de Rosses | P: FWT

Full Results:

SNOWBOARD MEN
1. Emilien Badoux (SUI) World Champion
2. Jamie Rizzuto (CAN)
3. Sascha Hamm (GBR)

SNOWBOARD WOMEN
1. Shannan Yates (USA) World Champion
2. Estelle Balet (SUI)
3. Elodie Mouthon (FRA)

VERBIER, SWITZERLAND (March 29, 2014)- With a new coat of more than 20 inches of fresh snow, the mythical Bec des Rosses at Verbier, Switzerland, promised an epic final competition of the 2014 Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face. The athletes were well prepared to take on freeriding’s most prestigious and challenging competition and charged down the intimidating 500-meter north face with power and style, as well as mental and physical strength. After a long waiting period for the best possible weather and snow, the stars finally aligned, making for an even better show witnessed by six thousands cheering spectators. At the end of the day, winners of both the 19th edition of the legendary “Xtreme” and the 2014 Freeride World Tour Champions were crowned, a truly international group of athletes.

Nerves were on high tension as several athletes in each discipline had the chance to grab the world champion title. Many minds were set to win, and ride the long and difficult face at their highest level. With only visual inspection, it is a huge challenge to take on such a mission on the very steep face with a gradient of 45 degrees to up to 60 degrees at the top. Despite a lot of new fresh snow it was at times effected by the wind, making the conditions variable and tricky.

First out to tackle the Bec des Rosses were the women snowboarders followed by women skiers, starting from the lookers right shoulder of the mountain, the “Petit Bec” (small Bec). The battle for the snowboard World Champion title was on for veteran Shannan Yates of USA and local rookie Estelle Balet. After the two favorites both took a tumble, 2013 Champion Elodie Mouthon secured the win with a powerful run and good air. Nonetheless, Yates had enough points to take the overall title 2014.

The men tackled the Bec des Rosses from the very top, starting with the snowboarders. Defending World Champion Ralph Backstrom, rode the mighty face in true “Backstrom style” with big jumps and fluid charging, and scored a second consecutive win at the Xtreme. When the final results unfolded a new Freeride World Champion was crowned, local Swiss rider Emilien Badoux, who had a strong season with three podiums at five events, including a win at Chamonix, France. Badoux was very emotional and proud to be the first ever Swiss Snowboard World Champion.