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After dumping snow for days, the Austrian skies finally parted and allowed the third stop of the Swatch Freeride World Tour to go off in Fieberbrunn. This event marked the last chance for riders to secure a spot in the final two competitions of the season, as well as in next year’s tour.
The recent heavy snowfall created somewhat unstable conditions for riders on the Wildseeloder competition face. Several riders set off slab avalanches, one of which left Austria’s Nadine Wallner stranded above a large cliff as the slope released below her, leaving her intended line unrideable. Immediately after, USA’s Hazel Birnbaum was taken out by her own slough, which partially buried her. She walked away unharmed. Both riders were granted a re-run and the competition was put on hold temporarily.
Once the show got rolling again, Italy’s Arianna Tricomi threw down a lightning-fast run, linking a series of cliffs and wind-lips that gave her the win. Nadine Wallner’s re-run earned her second place after she managed to stomp the same line she was stranded on earlier. Third place went to Canadian Lauren Cameron for making the most of the powder day; she skied an untracked line through the cliffs down the center of the venue.
The men’s competition was just as heated and several big names fought to secure their place for the rest of the season. First place went to Norway’s Dennis Risvoll for linking two of his signature massive backflips. France’s Loic Collomb Patton took second for the most stylish run of the day after he linked air after air and stomped a huge 360. Germany’s Felix Wiemers placed third for two backflips and loads of speed.
While favorites Jeremie Heitz, Ivan Malakhov and Drew Tabke failed to podium, they have guaranteed spots in the next competition, which will take place March 17-25 in Haines, Alaska. The finals will be held in early April in Verbier, Switzerland.