The first event of the Freeride World Tour (FWT) Finals kicked off earlier today on the Wildseeloder face during Fieberbrunn, Austria’s 20th anniversary of hosting freeride competitions, 15 of those for the FWT. Despite the challenging weather and snow conditions in the days leading up to the event, riders encountered a dense snowpack at the top of the venue and trickier snow with playful features near the bottom. This lead to an unforgettable performance in all categories.

Astrid Cheylus. Photo by Dom Daher / Freeride World Tour

The two-run format added excitement, giving riders two chances to deliver their best run. This led to a memorable show, with big lines and huge jumps over the playful features of the face.

Ben Richards. Photo by Dom Daher / Freeride World Tour

Victor De Le Rue (FRA) was crowned Snowboard Men’s World Champion today, securing the title one competition ahead the YETI Xtreme Verbier. Victor’s FWT season has been remarkably consistent, winning four events out of four and showcasing his incredible talent, technique and smart riding style. This is Victor’s third title, equaling his older brother and freeride legend Xavier de Le Rue.

Victor De Le Rue. Photo by Dom Daher / Freeride World Tour

Here's a look at what went down today in the Austrian Alps…

Snowboard Men
The games in the Snowboard Men category have ended, with the title assigned one competition early. Victor de Le Rue (FRA) established his clear dominance on the mountain today, becoming a three-time World Champion by winning the first event of the 2024 FWT Finals. Opening up the top section of his second run with a confident 360 with a grab, his controlled tail press over the rocks mid-run followed with a back 360 impressed the judges. He maintained his momentum throughout, securing his fourth win of the season. Liam Rivera (SUI) didn’t put down the first run that he was hoping for, but made a solid comeback in the second run with an aggressive yet stylish run that saw him land in second place. Rookie Timm Schröder (GER) secured the third spot on the podium thanks to his improved performance in the second run.

"I am really happy to be World Champion again, and winning four competitions out of four makes me even prouder. I am extremely satisfied with my runs this season; today, the conditions were difficult, and I didn't perform as I had hoped in my first run. However, I managed to motivate myself again in my second run and clinch the victory.” —Victor de Le Rue, 2024 Fieberbrunn Pro Winner & 2024 FWT World Champion

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

Ski Women
Astrid Cheylus (FRA) secured her second win on the FWT, making her the overall leader in the Ski Women’s category rankings and surpassing fellow French competitor, Manon Loschi. In her second run, Cheylus chose a powerful route through the Eagle Cliff followed by two consecutive, solid backflips, demonstrating the clean style this young rider brings to the game. Hedvig Wessel (NOR) claimed the second podium spot as she raised the stoke levels by putting down a great first run, but couldn't replicate her success in her second attempt. Manon Loschi (FRA) finished in third place due to a strong first run. No World Champion was crowned today in this category, as the Ski Women’s rankings have been shaken up after today’s impressive performances, building up the excitement for the final event in Verbier.

"I never imagined I could win a FWT Final event on my first year on Tour. I am so happy about it! I totally love competing with such awesome riders in my category, and this motivates me even more for the future and for the Xtreme Verbier.” —Astrid Cheylus, 2024 Fieberbrunn Pro Winner

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

Snowboard Women
Erin Sauve (CAN) stormed her way to her first number one podium spot, kicking off her first-ever competition on this face with a huge air, confidently and easily battling the slough, and picking off the features lower down to nail a successful and solid run and scoring an impressive 90.33 score. Anna Martinez (FRA) brought the gnar straight out of the gate to take second place. Her consistent performance over two runs demonstrated why she deserves a spot among the best in her category. Spanish superstar Núria Castán Barón (ESP), who had a shot at the crown today, ended up in third. Despite a stumble in her second run, she remains the rankings leader. With the YETI Xtreme Verbier ahead, where the title is up for grabs, the top three riders are all close competitors, and anything can happen on the Bec des Rosses.

“I'm super pumped, and super proud of my first run. I can't believe I won here in Fieberbrunn and got to sit in the hotseat. I couldn't be happier than winning this first event of the Finals. I believe that my victory today has given me confidence for Verbier, and I look forward to seeing how far I can push myself.” —Erin Sauve, 2024 Fieberbrunn Pro Winner

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

Ski Men
The level in the Ski Men’s category seems to improve competition after competition, with seven riders scoring over 90.00 points for the second consecutive competition. Today rookie Ben Richards (NZL) went huge and secured the best spot on the podium for himself, claiming his first victory on the FWT with the fastest run of the day. His run was full of serious airtime, most notably a 360 off the ever-impressive Häusl Cliff in his second attempt of the day. Current rankings leader Max Hitzig (GER) had an opportunity to clinch the World Champion title, but finished in second place with a clean run. This result leaves the title decision open until the final competition. While Hitzig continues to lead the rankings, the competition behind him is closing in. Marcus Goguen (CAN), fresh from an incredible win at the Georgia Pro, secured his spot on the podium once again, finishing third. He started strong with a great first run but was unable to land his promising second run.

“Winning here in Fieberbrunn for the first of the two FWT Finals means a lot to me. I have worked so hard on the FWT Qualifier and Challenger series to get here. To win in this competitive category was beyond my imagination. I'm so happy about it!” —Ben Richards, 2024 Fieberbrunn Pro Winner

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

Relive all of today’s action at, and stay tuned to the FWT’s social media channels (@freerideworldtour) to keep pace with the latest news as it drops. The winner of the Men's Snowboard title has been crowned, but we saw a big shake up in the rankings across the other categories today in Fieberbrunn, and all eyes now turn to the final event of the season, the legendary YETI Xtreme Verbier, where riders will face off one more time in their quest for the FWT crown.

Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

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