€-FWT: Chamonix Event Shifts to Italian side of Mont Blanc

It's On! First Stop of the Freeride World Tour 2011 To be Held on Italian Side of Mont Blanc
The Best Riders on the Best Mountains in the Ultimate Freeride Competition

From the Freeride World Tour — Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France – January 20, 2011 – The Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch confirms the event will happen at Courmayeur on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Despite difficult snow conditions, the mountains surrounding Chamonix provide such an amazing amount of diverse terrain that FWT competitor representatives, judges and mountain guides have found, and agreed to move to, a new location that meets the high standards for which the FWT has become known.

Despite low-tide snow conditions throughout the Alps, the high elevation of the Mont Blanc range has enabled a good snowpack without the deterioration found at lower levels.

The event will be held at Courmayeur on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. The 300-meter north face tops out at 2800 meters and features multiple entries and loads of great features which the riders will use to express their full range of skills.

"A big part of the success of the Freeride World Tour is the criteria that each competition face must meet. Not every event will be a powder fest but we can say that we work very hard to make sure each venue is suitable for an elite competition and is safe for the riders,” says Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT Founder and Director.

It's important to note the event will not happen on Saturday, 22 January. The start date and time will be confirmed at noon on Friday. Check FreerideWorldTour.com or Facebook or Twitter for up-to-the-minute info. The elite field includes Freeride World Champions Xavier de Le Rue (FRA, men snowboard) and Aline Bock (GER, women snowboard) as well as local hero and 2009 Freeride World Champion Aurélien Ducroz (FRA, men ski). Other names to watch include Henrik Windstedt (SWE, men ski), Tim Dutton (USA, men ski), Mitch Toelderer (AUS, men snowboard) and winner of last weekend's FWT11 women's event in La Clusaz Janette Hargin (SWE, women ski). Click here for complete entry list.

Chamonix local and 3rd place in last year's event James Stentiford (UK) comments: “The FWT crew have the best interests of the riders in mind and are not afraid to cancel a competition. Just look at last year in Sochi when they postponed the event for too much snow!"

First Ever Junior Event
The first-ever Freeride Juniors de Chamonix Mont-Blanc by Dakine will take place on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Brevent ski station. This new event is the first of three providing young riders with the unique opportunity to compete, meet and learn from pro riders and further develop their overall awareness of mountain safety.

Aurélien Ducroz Christens His Boat
Aurélien Ducroz is more than just the 2009 Freeride World Champion, he's also a competitive sailor! On Friday at 18:30 on Place Balmat in Chamonix, the Chamonix local will christen the new boat he will use in a trans-Atlantic race in September of this year.

The Freeride World Tour 2011 six stages:

1. Nissan Freeride de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch (FRA)
Date: 22 January 2011 – Men / Women – Ski / Snowboard

2. Nissan Freeride Engadin St. Moritz 2011 by Swatch (SUI)
Date: 30 January 2011 – Men – Ski / Snowboard

3a. The North Face Masters of Crystal Mountain 2011 by Swatch and PrimaLoft (USA)
Date: 7 February 2011 – Men – Snowboard

3b. North American Freeskiing Championships Kirkwood 2011 by Swatch, The North Face and Sierra Nevada (USA)
Date: 25 February 2011 – Men / Women – Ski

4. Nissan Russian Adventure Sochi 2011 (RUS)
Date: 5 March 2011 – Men – Ski / Snowboard

5. Big Mountain Fieberbrunn 2011 by Nissan (AUT)
Date: 12 March 2011 – Men – Ski / Snowboard

6. Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch (SUI)
Date: 19 March 2011 (Finals) – Men / Women – Ski / Snowboard

About the Freeride World Tour

The Freeride World Tour was launched in 2008 and following three full seasons it is recognized by riders, the ski industry and the media as the pinnacle of the sport. In 2011, the best freeriders, men, women, skiers and snowboarders alike, will visit some of the world's most renowned ski resorts in pursuit of the world title.

For 2011 the men's tour has expanded from four to six FWT stops with events in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc – FRA, Engadin St Moritz – SUI, Kirkwood – USA, Sochi – RUS, Fieberbrunn – AUT, and Verbier – SUI. The women's events have a new schedule for 2011 that includes six main stops in La Clusaz – FRA, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc – FRA, Hochfugen – AUT, Kirkwood – USA, Taos – USA, Nendaz – SUI, and Verbier – SUI.

The riders' best three contest results from the Freeride World Tour 2011 will count towards qualifying for the season finale, the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch. Freeride World Champion titles will be awarded using the four best results from the six FWT11 stops including the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch.

The Freeride World Tour is supported by Freeride World Qualifier events around the world where the same criteria for security, contest format and judging is applied. The FWQ events' biggest aim is to feed new talent from all over the world into the elite level tour.