Telluride, Colorado, February 6, 2010 -- Today, a new wave of big mountain skiers have entered into the realm of giants. The top four women and top six men of today are now pre-qualified for the remainder of the 2010 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour. They now have the opportunity to get their skills noticed, gain Tour points and, hopefully, wrangle some sponsors.
Two-year consecutive winner of the Tour Qualifier, Claudia Bouvier, of Vail, had a great comeback today. She made up over 11 points from yesterday to grab the top spot on the podium for the women. Bouvier's run started strong, she whipped out of a tight cornice on the top aspect of the venue, Mountain Quail, and then charged down a frozen waterfall between the trees in Review, cut a hard right, hit a 15-footer and then sent it straight into a ten-footer; absolutely stomping it.
Guest judge and seven-year Freeskiing World Tour competitor, Cliff Bennett, was positioned at the top of the venue because of poor visibility and said that Bouvier looked the best of both the men and women.
"She flashed down the top," Bennett said.
Louise Lintilhac, of Stowe, showed everyone just what it means to ski the East, taking second place for the women and qualifying for the 2010 Tour. Newcomer to the Tour and yesterday's winner, Sasha Dingle, showed off a solid run. She headed looker's left into Review, hitting a couple cliff drops, and ending with a nice ten-foot stomp into the finish.
This was Dingle's first Tour competition; for her great first showing, she was awarded The North Face Young Gun Award.
In fourth and the final woman to pre-qualify for the Tour was another local skier of Telluride, Kelli Gleason skied a memorable line, with aggressive carving, high speeds and a couple little cliff hits into the finish.
The competition between the men for first and second has been quite the nail biter throughout the two-day competition. Local skier, Travis Wolfe, of Telluride, nabbed first place today by a hair with a 37.67 to Whit Boucher's second place finish with a 36.33.
"I'm so happy," said Wolfe after the awards in Telluride's Mountain Village, "I came here confident and had lots of support."
Wolfe's total combined score from yesterday and today was 77.00, closely followed by Boucher's 76.90. Wolfe skied the same line as yesterday: an extremely technical line, with several impressive billy-goat drops followed by a 20-foot drop off a rocky face.
The judges said they've enjoyed being able to compare Wolfe's, highly advanced technical skiing, with Boucher's, fluid, aggressive turns and huge cliff hits. Both men stomped this weekend, in their own way.
"I surprised myself," said Boucher of his first podium and newly pre-qualified status.
Another interesting style to watch was Connery Lundin's, of Squaw Valley, California, who used his racing skills to create fast, smooth turns and effortless transitions into several cliff hits. Lundin skied another excellent third place run today.
Because Travis Wolfe was pre-qualified, Boucher captured the first pre-qualified spot, followed by Lundin, Ryan Hawks, of Grand Targhee, Wyoming, Kent Hyden, of Alta, Utah, who also received the Sickbird Award, Chason Russell, of Telluride, Colorado, and Nick Fountain, of Sugarloaf, Maine.
After Telluride, the Subaru FWT continues to the legendary steeps of Crested Butte, Colorado, and then onto the famed Cirque at Kirkwood, California. Long known as the premier venue on the Subaru FWT, Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort will host the 2010 Subaru Freeskiing World Championships, with the tour leaders battling for top positions in the final runs of the year down the infamous North Baldy.
For full results click here