Swatch Freeride World Tour confirms debut event at Courmayeur Mont Blanc

Comments by Kelli Lynn Hargrove/

In light of the hazardous snow conditions and resulting cancellation of the Swatch Freeride World Tour (FWT) 2014’s initial opening stop in Revelstoke, BC, the tour has now officially confirmed that it will kick off at Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Italy, on January 18, 2014. This is the first time that the event makes its debut in Italy, and the competitions will be broadcast live for fans to watch on the FWT website.

Read on for all the dates and details, provided in the press release below:

It’s game time! With the event in Revelstoke, Canada postponed until March, the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR 2014 BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) is primed for an exciting debut event at Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Italy, on January 18, 2014. The FWT has previously held its season opener in the United States, France, Russia, and Canada, and now that honor goes to Italy for the first time.

Fans around the world can watch the action live onwww.freerideworldtour.com. The event webcast is scheduled to begin at 9 AM CET the day of competition.

Situated in the sunny Aosta Valley at the foot of the south face of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur presents one of the most spectacular arenas in the world for skiing and snowboarding. This will be the third consecutive year FWT will visit Courmayeur Mont Blanc, which has proven to be a rider and fan favorite thanks to Italian hospitality, consistent snow and incredible terrain.

Of the six events of the 2014 FWT, Courmayeur Mont Blanc is the one event only featuring male skiers and snowboarders. Male and female athletes will both be in action the very next week at the following FWT stage at Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. The 2013 World Champion Drew Tabke (USA) said, “I’m really happy to start off defending my title in Italy this year. Courmayeur is one of my favorites on the tour – you can’t beat the combination of the Italian lifestyle and superb skiing. I placed sixth here last year so I hope I can do better in 2014.”

The intensity of competition will build quickly on the 2014 tour. After the events in Courmayeur and Chamonix, the show heads immediately to stop three of the tour in Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, Austria, as the riders battle for their share of this year’s 400,000 USD prize purse. Reine Barkered (SWE), 2012 world champion said, “What better place to start the season and meet up with all the FWT riders after a long summer than the sunny side of Mont Blanc? I love being in Courmayeur – it has great skiing and a great venue!”

Veteran FWT men’s snowboarder John Rodosky (USA) who placed second at last season’s Courmayeur stop is approaching the competition with confidence and eager to compete again in Italy. “I am always stoked to return to a mountain where I have competed well,” he commented. “Last year, I was a little nervous about the competition but this season I feel much more prepared. There are always a number of variables to consider, but I plan to ride a little faster this year and think I may even have an idea of my line choice.”

The FWT 2013 Ranking:

Snowboard Men:
1. Ralph Backstrom (USA) – 2013 World Champion
2. Aurélien Routens (FRA)
3. Sammy Luebke (USA)

Snowboard Women:
1. Elodie Mouthon (FRA) – 2013 World Champion
2. Margot Rozies (FRA)
3. Shannan Yates (USA)