Delivering a first-class display of progressive freeriding, the freeride stars of tomorrow looked more like seasoned Freeride World Tour athletes at the Freeride Junior World Championship presented by Dynastar. With a long vertical drop of 450 metres, the beautiful face of Mont de Cion in Verbier, Switzerland hosted the young skiers and snowboarders, which offered a combination of alpine steeps and features to launch off. A sunny day welcomed the competition with good snow conditions after recent snowfalls.
Here’s a look at what went down…
Stella Picchedda (FRA – 1st Place) navigated the top technical section with ease, linking some nice turns with loads of style. She continued this form throughout the face and finished with three nice jumps to take the top spot. Scarlett Veitch (GBR – 2nd Place) showed perfect technique in the steeps with a great display of big mountain riding. A small butt-check in the middle took some points, but she still locked in the second position. Emma Piguet (SUI – 3rd Place) completed a rapid run and sent the biggest air in the category. A fall in the middle cost her some points, but she put down an excellent run overall.
Neo Emery (USA – 1st Place) made short work of the face with a fast, smooth run. The judges liked his committed technical approach in the steeps, which he linked in the middle with a huge double cliff. Pau Riba (AND – 2nd Place) put down a run full of steezy airs with clean grabs on every hit. A massive, stomped cliff at the top and a big mid-face blind step-down sealed the podium for Pau. Thibaut Portner (FRA – 3rd Place) wowed the judges with a super creative line, including frontside and backside 360s. He lost some points due to lack of fluidity, but completed one of the best freestyle runs of the day.
Astrid Cheylus (FRA – 1st Place) locked in the top spot with a super playful run from top to bottom. She showed huge commitment in the top steeps, ignoring the surrounding exposure and linking this with a big air with a high-speed exit in the middle, which she stomped without hesitation. A big final air combined with some other smaller airs topped off a solid run. Delila Quinn (USA – 2nd Place) put on an excellent display of freeriding with big, committed airs in the middle and a huge air at the bottom. Only a small hesitation kept Quinn from first place. Claire Mcpherson (CAN – 3rd Place) skied the top technical section with precision and fluidity. She went massive in the central couloir, but unfortunately backslapped the landing. Another massive air at the bottom sealed a solid run for the Canadian.
Max Palm (SWE – 1st Place) put down a characteristic run stacked with features and fluidity. He powered through the top technical section and exited with a massive 360. He then entered the central couloir with another 360, then straight into a big double cliff. Some smooth turns in the bottom section and one final 360 in the opposite direction for good measure earned Max a deserved first position. Martin Bender (SUI – 2nd Place) had a short-lived time on Mont de Cion with a super-fast run. He started with a perfectly stomped triple cliff, then combined this with another technical triple and completed his run with the biggest transfer of the day. Lach Powell (NZL – 3rd Place) completed an incredible run loaded with features. He went full throttle in the top section with a big double cliff, then got technical with a 360 into a committed triple cliff in the central couloir. He finished his run with another perfectly executed 360.
The young riders did not disappoint and continued to push the level into unseen territory. Their maturity shone through, and their ability to make the right decisions on big freeride faces was impressive. The future is in good hands!
Relive all of today’s action at freerideworldtour.com, and be sure to follow the FJT social media channels (@juniorfreeridetour) for rider news and updates as the 2021 season wraps up.