This will be the first time that team captains Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (Team Americas) and Richard Permin (Team Europe) face each other as they lead their continent towards victory in the alpine playground of Grandvalira. Cattabriga-Alosa is a pioneer in crossover-style backcountry riding, where he has been known to combine the most cutting-edge big-mountain lines with smooth, stylish freestyle tricks in mind-blowing film segments. Permin has an unrivaled reputation for sending it huge, both in the backcountry and in the park. Each captain has compiled an impeccably-selected roster of athletes that are true masters of every aspect of the sport.
With so much talent gathered at one of the biggest ski areas in Southern Europe, the 2016 edition of the Skiers Cup will once again be the most innovative showdown in skiing as riders clash in two classic disciplines: big mountain and backcountry slopestyle. Fellow riders from both sides of the Atlantic will convene in the middle of the Pyrenees to demonstrate the best each school of skiing has to offer, with Europe having defeated Team Americas in 2015, bringing the current overall score to 3-2 for Europe.
There’s no sure-fire formula for success in the Skiers Cup, as innovation has proven king time and again in the previous editions of this legendary showdown. Team Americas’ deep tradition of high-level big mountain and backcountry riding will have to contend with some of Europe’s most versatile riders. Stay tuned to Freeride World Tour's social channels as team captains will unveil riders of each team beginning today (with Team Americas selecting Parker White and Team Europe selecting Markus Eder), and additional riders announced each following Monday and Friday!
Kiwi Sam Smoothy has long been a staple on the Freeride World Tour and will bring his extensive knowledge and experience from his FWT victories to this year's Skiers Cup. Smoothy has always had an acumen for hard charging and big lines and will be a discerning eye when judging some of the world’s finest freeskiers. In addition to his judging roles, Smoothy will once again be a force to watch on the 2016 FWT.
Quebecois Philou Poirier will join Smoothy as a judge in this year’s event. Philou’s park-oriented background will contrast Smoothy’s Kiwi big-line prowess. Poirier is also a household name to those who are familiar with the history of the freeskiing revolution. From his many film segments, to his outstanding contributions to the sport, few skiers have an eye for talent like Poirier.
A History of War: Europe vs. The Americas
So far, Team Europe is leading the overall standings with its 2015 victory over the Team Americas in Zermatt, Switzerland. Up until last year, the teams were evenly matched with alternating wins. Does Europe have what it takes this year to advance its lead over the Americas? In the preceding editions of the Skier Cup, the match-up has always been close but this year the rosters are re-arranged and captains are going to be commanding for their freshmen season. What isn’t a mystery is that this year’s showdown is going to offer a fresh new perspective on how skiing has evolved in the last year.
Visit the Skiers Cup Facebook page for more info, and be sure to stay tuned for the new Skiers Cup website, which will be online soon.