Over the weekend, a stacked roster of athletes headed up to the Ozone competition face at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden B.C. ready to get rowdy in the best snow conditions that the Canadian Rockies have to offer for the second stop of the 2020 Freeride World Tour (FWT). Here’s the top highlights…
The women’s snowboard category opened the day under crisp, blue Canadian skies. Marion Haerty (FRA-1st place) owned the day for the category with a big initial air off a cornice and a sizable mid-venue air. Local wildcard Claudia Avon (CAN-2nd place) made her country proud with a powerful line that ended in a technical section, and Erika Vikander (USA - 3rd Place) took home the third position on the podium.
"It went really well! I did what I had in mind. I had a good time. The snow was super good and opening the whole competition as first in my category was so good. I really had a lot of fun!” –Marion Haerty
The level of riding in the women’s ski category was a testament to the progression of the sport, featuring one of the best shows to date. Jessica Hotter (NZL-1st place) brought heat with a fluid style of riding void of any hesitation through huge, clean airs. Arianna Tricomi (ITA-2nd place) earned back her yellow leader jersey with a big 360 into several stomped airs. And a fast and rowdy Elisabeth Gerritzen (SUI-3rd place) edged onto the podium with impressive riding skills.
"I think my run went really well. It was unbelievably fun! The snow was amazing and I’m just really, really stoked how I managed to stomped the bottom here! I did exactly what I was planning. I’m really happy I didn’t get lost ‘cause I had to deal with that in the past. It was super nice. Everybody smashed it today. Everybody has been riding so well. It was amazing!” –Jessica Hotter
Jonathan Penfield (USA-1st place) rode the mountain the way it was intended with a huge 360 into transfer gaps with big grabs. Hot on his heels was Sammy Luebke (USA-2nd place), with his typical clean riding and an authoritative and stomped 360. And Victor De Le Rue (FRA-3rd place) kept fans interested with redline speed, a 360, and a big cliff drop.
"It was great. I managed to avoid all the rocks. All my airs were nice and lofty and I felt like I had plenty of time between features to plan things out. It felt great. I’ve ridden here for events years before and feel it’s like a home turf. It got a bit different snowpack. It’s amazing to be winning at home with friends around for the comp!” –Jonathan Penfield
The men’s ski category had some difficulty holding its full-throttle rowdiness together for this event, which featured more technical errors than usual. Kirstofer Turdell (SWE-1st place) gave judges everything they wanted to see with incredibly fluid riding into a massive backflip followed by a big and technical air at the bottom of the venue. Carl Regnér Eriksson (SWE-2nd place) brought his own style to the Ozone venue and beat out Andrew Pollard (USA-3rd place), who seized the yellow leader jersey with a line that opened with a huge drop in a technical entry, followed by a 360 and creative air choices.
"It was probably one of the fastest runs I've ever done. Maybe not in terms of speed, but I'm still having a hard time figuring out what I actually did because in my head it went so fast!" –Kirstofer Turdell
It was a memorable competition where we witnessed riders’ mounting appetite for victory during the 2020 competition season. The next stop of the 2020 FWT will be heading to Europe in Ordino Arcalís, Andorra from February 28 to March 4, 2020. Be sure to visit freerideworldtour.com and FWT’s social media channels (@freerideworldtour) for the latest event and rider news, along with full results from Kicking Horse.