French Domination at the Second Stage of the Freeride World Tour
Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch Moved to Chamonix

leftChamonix-Mont-Blanc, France – February 4, 2010 – Chamonix again provided the thrills of freeride, hosting the second stage of the Freeride Tour: the Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch, initially planned to take place in Sochi/Russia, but moved to Chamonix for security reasons and difficult weather conditions. Only the men skiers and snowboarders took part of today’s contest, at the north east face of Aiguille Pourrie at the Flégère ski area. With an extremely high performance level, Frenchmen Julien Lopez and Xavier de Le Rue took victory. The multiple X-Games medallist skier Candide Thovex FRA and snowboarder Mitch Toelderer AUT are now at the top of the Freeride World Tour Ranking.

Official Results from the Nissan Russian Adventure by Swatch held in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France Click here for complete results <>

Men Ski

1- Julien Lopez (FRA)
2- Candide Thovex (FRA)
3- Seb Michaud (FRA) &
Henrik Windstedt (SWE)

FWT Ranking after two completed contests: click here
With the early 9 am start this morning, the competitors had, from the starting point at 2500 metres of altitude, to negotiate 500 vertical metres of cliff jumps, snow loaded spines, big wide open fields and steep chutes at an average steepness of 40 degrees. The experienced athletes put on a different show, than at the first FWT contest last Sunday, with bigger air, throwing off stylish tricks and fast lines in the great snow conditions and varied features.

The tendency in freeriding is that athletes express different style on varied terrain but not necessarily extreme. The face chosen today by the organisers corresponds exactly with this criteria. As Nicolas Hale-Woods, organiser and founder of the Freeride World Tour, comments:
“We choose as varied competition faces as possible, so that each rider can express their own style the best possible way. Some of the athletes origin from the alpine scene and some from freestyle. Our judging system is developed so that each style could be awarded the winning line. After a challenging competition on Sunday, the contest today showed a different face of freeriding, with many impressive manoeuvres in the air and a very tight line up. This shows the variety and the vivacity of our Sport.”

Martin Winkler AUT, Head Judge Ski, Comments on the Podium Runs
1. Julien Lopez FRA: “Lopez fulfilled all aspects of what we want to see in freeriding: Very fluid in the fall line, taking all the cliffs he jumped at the highest level, sticking every one. He did a huge backflip and stuck it perfectly. Then he entered the lower features in a different and creative way, stomping the big double cliff.”

2. Candide Thovex FRA: “Once again Candide showed us a very playful line, bouncing down the mountain. He took a more obvious line than Lopez and did not take the highest jumps but he was super fluid and executed all his airs with more speed and landed further down than the other competitors. In the end of the run he pulled off a perfect 360° (a complete rotation), taking about 20 metres of distance in the air, really spectacular.”

3. Tie: Seb Michaud FRA & Henrik Windstedt SWE: “Seb jumped every possible cliff, throwing off two massive backflips, one on the significant diamond rock in the middle of the run and one topping off his run.”
“Henrik Windstedt showed one of the fastest lines down the mountain today with several jumps and a really stylish drop into an open field, finishing off with a clean 360° and a backflip at the bottom section.”


Riders’ Quotes – Nissan Adventure by Swatch in Chamonix
Julien Lopez FRA – Winner Ski
“It makes a huge difference to start first (as Lopez did at the Sunday competition) or second last as today. I felt much more pressure today when seeing all my friends go down. But I felt good mentally and wanted to do a big backflip and a solid double cliff in the end – I got out my good old mogul race mode; the arms well in front and well, I stuck it!”

Candide Thovex FRA – 2nd Ski – And Overall Leader FWT
“I changed my line when I hiked up with Seb Michaud, and except for my 360° in the end I did not pull off any big tricks. But I am here to learn, and right now I guess it is going pretty well for me!”

Henrik Windstedt SWE – 3rd Ski
“I have talked about doing more tricks during competition and finally I got it all right. I wanted to step up my game a bit since the first FWT contest last Sunday. The snow conditions where perfect for that today – solid and consistent.”