Four Freeride World Champions Crowned in Verbier

The Frenchmen, Xavier de Le Rue in snowboard and Aurelien Ducroz in ski, are the Freeride World Champions 2009 while taking incredible victories on the mythical Bec des Rosses.

Photo: Serge Sozonoff, Freeride World Tour

The Freeride World Tour 2009 came to an end with an amazing fourth stage and grand finale: the Nissan Xtreme – Verbier. The Frenchmen, Xavier de Le Rue in snowboard and Aurelien Ducroz in ski, are the Freeride World Champions 2009 while taking incredible victories on the mythical Bec des Rosses. For the women, the Norwegian skier, Ane Enderud, dominated the event thus took her first ever Freeride World Champion title as did the american snowboarder, Susan Mol, who was third today in the competition won by Geraldine Fasnacht. 

Freeride World Ranking 2009 (find the complete ranking here).

Men Ski

1- Aurelien Ducroz FRA

2- Reine Barkered SWE

3-Sverre Liliequist SWE

Women Ski

1-Ane Enderud NOR

2-Marja Persson SWE

3-Jess McMillan USA

Men Snowboard

1-Xavier de Le Rue FRA

2- Alex Coudray SUI

3- Max Zipser AUT

Women Snowboard

1- Susan Mol USA

2- Aline Bock GER

3- Geraldine Fasnacht SUI

The Frenchmen Xavier de Le Rue (snowboard) and Aurelien Ducroz (ski), winners of the Nissan Xtreme - Verbier and Freeride World Champions 2009

Xavier de Le Rue and Aurélien Ducroz, leading before the stage in Verbier, brought honor to their Golden Bibs with historic runs. On the windblown Bec des Rosses face with 55° areas which was even tougher than usual, they both opted for really tough lines. Though he had already won the Freeride World Champion title before heading down the slope, Xavier de Le Rue won the competition hands down, this being his second victory of the season after winning the Nissan Freeride de Tignes. This is his second consecutive title.
After his podiums at the Nissan Russian Adventure (2nd) and the Nissan Tram Face (3rd), Aurelien Ducroz was victorious in Verbier. Like his winning run in 2006, he revealed his mastery and ease on such steep slopes. Very emotional at the awards ceremony, Aurelien has now claimed his spot as the discipline leader.

Results for the Nissan Xtreme de Verbier 2009

Men Ski

1- Aurelien Ducroz FRA

2- Reine Barkered SWE

3-Raphy Gillioz SUI

Women Ski

1-Ane Enderud NOR

2- Marja Persson SWE

3-Jess McMillan USA

Men Snowboard

1-Xavier de Le Rue FRA

2-Mitch Toelderer AUT

3-Matt Annetts SUI

Women Snowboard

1-Geraldine Fasnacht SUI

2-Bibi Pekarek AUT

3- Susan Mol USA

The Swiss were also successful on the Bec des Rosses with Geraldine Fasnacht’s victory in snowboard, third place for Raphy Gillioz in ski and Alex Coudray taking 2nd in the Freeride World Ranking in snowboard.

After her first victory just a few days ago, Geraldine Fasnacht continued her amazing come-back winning the Nissan Xtreme – Verbier. Starting from the right side of the face which was reserved for the women, her fluidity impressed everyone. She won ahead of Bibi Pekarek (AUT) and the new Freeride World Champion, Susan Mol (USA). Susan participated in the Freeride World Tour after having won a qualifier event; she then won the Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley USA. Confirming her talent on the European slopes, she took the title ahead of Aline Bock (GER), the other revelation of this season winning in Sochi.

Raphy Gillioz (SUI), mountain guide in Verbier and chief ski patrol for the Mont Fort area, mesmerized the huge crowd gathered at the Col de Gentianes to admire the 14th edition of this legendary competition. By choosing the central line of which he alone knew the secrets, he climbed to the third step of the podium. Also, thanks to his great season taking 3rd in Sochi and Tignes, the snowboarder Alex Coudray took second of the Freeride World Ranking 2009.

The Scandinavian skiers, Ane Enderud (NOR), Freeride World Champion 2009, Reine Barkered (SWE) and Sverre Liliequist (SWE), both on the podium of the Freeride World Tour 2009

Encouraged by her entire family that came all the way from Norway, Ane Enderud chose a creative line with impressive jumps. Thanks to her victory in Verbier, she took her first Freeride World Champion title just ahead of Marja Persson (SWE) and Jess McMillan (USA), who were all three on the podium of the Nissan Xtreme – Verbier. For the men, Reine Barkered (SWE), was the revelation of this season winning in Squaw Valley. He concluded the competition with a run packed with lots of quick jumps. Thanks to his 2nd place in Verbier, he thus took second of the Freeride World Ranking 2009 just ahead of his compatriot Sverre Liliequist, winner in Sochi.

The Freeride World Tour 2009, a success

The Freeride World Tour (FWT) 2009 brought together the world’s best skiers and snowboarders to compete around the globe: Sochi, Russia, Squaw Valley, USA, Tignes, France and Verbier, Switzerland. Thanks to the 10 Freeride World Qualifiers, certain young talented riders were qualified to participate in this season’s major events.

With points earned in both the Freeride World Tour events as well as the Freeride World Qualifier events, the Freeride World Ranking 2009 was established: only the top three event points earned were counted to determine the Freeride World Champions 2009 as well as the list of those qualified for the Freeride World Tour 2010. The athletes have been actively involved in developing the Freeride World Tour and the future of this sport.

Nicolas Hale Woods, organizer of the Freeride World Tour and founder of the Nissan Xtreme - Verbier

“We witnessed a fantastic show with historical runs on the Bec des Rosses. The riders proved their mastery and wisdom in tough conditions. They have shown the true evolution of Freeride as a sport. My feeling about this second edition of the Freeride World Tour is that it has progressed and there is potential for the future.”

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, General Manager, Marketing Communications, Nissan Europe

“The legend of the Bec de Rosses made the 14th running of the Xtreme a very exciting event. The athletes battled deep snow and windy conditions to give the large crowd a great show. Nissan are proud of the performance of our Nissan Sports Adventure athletes who triumphed in the challenging conditions.
The Freeride World Tour has reached another level during the 2009 season, with the athletes pushing themselves to challenge the conditions, and in doing so raising the bar for the sport. Nissan are very proud to have been involved with the Freeride World Tour, as part of our Nissan Sports Adventure programme across Europe. Together with the tour we look forward to the continued development and success of freeriding.”

Nissan are proud to be the founding partner of the Freeride World Tour (FWT), forming a key pillar in Nissan’s Sports Adventure programme which aims to support and promote adventure sports and an active outdoor lifestyle through world class events. Nissan has been involved with the legendary Xtreme, Verbier since 2006 and are pleased to see the 09 FWT once again climax at the Nissan Xtreme Verbier on the legendary Bec des Rosses. With Nissan’s support the tour has allowed more people in more countries across Europe to experience freeriding than ever before. Nissan’s involvement has also provided the next generation of talent the opportunity to experience the physical and mental challenge of competing with the world’s best freeriding skiers and snowboarders at the Freeride World Qualifiers.

The Nissan Sports Adventure winter programme encompasses the Freeride World Tour, the Freeride World Qualifiers and the Nissan Outdoor Games, whilst the summer programme includes the Nissan UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, and the Nissan Outdoor Games which will take place in Interlaken, Switzerland between the 29th and 30th May 2009. Nissan Sports Adventure combines the spirit of adventure with the controlled elements and skills of more traditional sports within the context of challenging ever evolving environments. This sports adventure ethos reflects Nissan’s passion for adventure, independence and continuous achievement. For more information on Nissan’s Sports Adventure programme please visit:



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