James Stentiford, widely recognised as the UK’s best freerider, staked his claim to being amongst the world’s best by making the podium at the legendary Verbier Xtreme contest yesterday. James’ third place finish – just behind Xavier de le Rue and Mitch Tolderer, was made even more impressive by the fact that he was drawn to drop first – effectively meaning he was feeling out the gnarly-as-hell Bec des Rosses face for the other riders.
I’m just glad I got down!” A clearly relieved and buzzing Stenti told us over the phone. “You try and tell yourself it doesn’t matter, it’s your first time at the event and you’re english so no-one’s expecting anything, but the reality is if you make a mistake in these mountains you can do yourself some serious damage, and when you’re stood on top of that thing, no two ways about it, you’re shitting your pants! It was tough conditions too – sunny but it had snowed last night meaning there was a layer of fresh hiding some buried sharks! I got lucky that a couple of people fell, but I’m stoked! Not bad for a 39 year old!”
Not bad indeed. Get in Stenti!
Anne-Flore Marxer won the women’s contest, taking the 2011 Nissan Freeride World Tour title in the process. The Verbier Xtreme’s position as the last contest on the tour meant Mitch Tolderer’s second place was enough for him to snatch the men’s overall title from Xavier de le Rue. Stenti’s third place, combined with his impressive results from the rest of the tour, meant he finished 6th overall. Nice!