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World's Top Riders Confirmed for the First Freeride World Tour


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(News Release – December 15, 2007) – The riders list is complete for the start of the Freeride World Tour 2008. 44 of the planet’s best male and female skiers and snowboarders are selected to fight for the World Champion title in five contests starting with Nissan Mammoth Challenge in California, January 22. Every single one of the invited riders has accepted the invitation, promising a world class first edition of the Freeride World Tour with the total elite of the sport.

The standard is as high as it gets in the world of freeriding. On the ski side, four-time freeride ski world champion Guerlain Chicherit (FRA) will be up against the top athletes in his sport with skiers like Olivier Meynet (FRA), Aurélien Ducroz (FRA), Kaj Zachrisson (SWE), and Manu Gaidet (FRA). They are all exceptional riders that have won various prestigious contests and will put up a tough fight for their contestants to reach the top of the podium.

American Snowboard legend Jeremy Jones and his companion Steve Klassen, 5-time winner of the Verbier Xtreme, will meet its European likes in riders like Cyril Néri (SUI) and Xavier de le Rue (FRA), 3-time boardercross world cup champion, X-games winner, winner of the Verbier Xtreme and the Swatch O’Neill Big Mountain Pro 2007. The list is endless.

The women’s line up is just as impressive. Freeride skiers Marja Persson (SWE), Andrea Binning (AUT), and snowboarders Ruth Leisbach (SUI), Geraldine Fasnacht (SUI) and Bibi Pekarek (AUT) will be pushing the women’s contest to an even higher level.

“The riders entering the Freeride World Tour are well known and very experienced. The public and media will without doubt see a beautiful show, said world elite snowboarder and winner of the Verbier Xtreme in 2002 Géraldine Fasnacht from Switzerland.

French skier Aurélien Ducroz (FRA) is happy with the new World Tour formula: “The organisers have really succeeded to get all the top riders back into the game of competition. All the big skiers I always have looked up to like Kaj Zachrisson, Seb Michaud, Guerlain Chicherit and Manu Gaidet will contribute to a great battle for the top. We all want to win and every rider entering the contest has the skill to do it.

For riders not selected to the Freeride World Tour there is another opportunity to fight for the top through the three contests of the Freeride World Qualifying Series (FWQS) and two open pre-qualification contests. Unknown top-level riders will thereby have the chance to challenge the world’s best freeriders in the quest for the World Champion title.

As number one ranked female skier Marja Persson (SWE) puts it: “The standard of the riders is really high even at the open pre-qualification contests. It wouldn’t surprise me if a rider from the open would go all the way to the top and win it all.

The Freeride World Tour has a prize purse of $300,000, the highest sum ever to be paid in ski or snowboard freeride contests. The most consistent riders scoring the most points throughout the five contests will gain the Freeride World Champion title in their respective discipline (snowboard/ski/men/women).

Darren Cox, Nissan European Brand Experience Manager, commented: “We are delighted that the world’s best riders have committed to the tour, to show their skill, athleticism and control at some of the best freeriding destinations.”

The partners of the Freeride World Tour events are Nissan, O’Neill, Swatch, Verbier, Tignes, Mammoth, Scott and Da Kine. For more information, visit