Cover image: Christoffer Granbom (SWE) angles his drops right. Photo: freerideworldtour.com/T.Lloyd
Right so, incase you haven't been paying attention - the Freeride World Tour opening stop went down today, almost exactly a week after the second stop, and both events took place in Andorra.
Thankfully that meant another morning of live stream action for us, with some mixed snow but plenty of sun in the sky at Baser Negre as the men got ready to drop.
For a minute at the end of the men's competition today, we thought we were going to see tour rookie Thomas Feurstein's freestyle-heavy approach cause a last minute upset, but unfortunately for the Austrian it was not to be - although he continued whirling like a dirvish all the way to the finish line, throwing in powder butters and 360s wherever possible.
Christoffer Granbom instead sought out some lines less trodden, and stomped flat-bottom drops with skill half way through the heat to take a relatively early lead that wouldn't be usurped for the rest of the day.
- Christoffer Granbom
- Sammy Luebke
- Davey Baird
Following on from him, the two main challengers proved to be David Baird and Sammy Luebke (as you might expect) - David seeking out a power combo line that was surely one of the best of the day, and Sammy struggling to find amplitude a little on his spin amidst an otherwise confident run with some tasty grabs.
Jonathan Penfield also came out swinging, boosting blind features, but just struggling to hold on to his landing after a big drop, leaving him open to be pushed into fourth as the podium filled up.
"This woman has a smile that could help bread rise" said Tim Warwood as Marion Haerty came out of the gates, only the second woman to drop in the ladies line-up, but today's winner all the same. She picked some sizeable drops and rode out with plenty of speed to stack enough points for first place.
- Marion Haerty
- Shannan Yates
- Manuela Mandl
Shannon Yates then showed her experience for the silver medal, finding her way through some steep lines before claiming a few clean turns for her own.
Austrian rookie Manuela Mandl rounded off the top three for the ladies, tackling every hit she could find with a fearless approach that the judges favoured.
Anne-Flore Marxer took her foot off the gas just a little compared with last week's performance, finishing in fourth at the end of the day. You'll have to wait until March now for the next stop in Fieberbrunn, Austria, so hold tight a little - and don't forget it's not long after that that we'll be watching the action in Haines, Alaska, so stay tuned.