The third Stop of Freeride World Tour 2022 ran to successful completion in Kicking Horse Golden, BC this Saturday with challenging conditions and high drama for the Tour’s rankings. With the results from Kicking Horse confirmed, a select group of riders is now qualified for the FWT Finals.
The drama started before the competition even began. 115km/h winds affected the mountains around Kicking Horse Golden, B.C. two days before the event and the planned venue, Ozone, bore the brunt of the wind and was left in poor condition. Following consultation between the riders, guides, and organizers, the decision was made to change venues to T1 South. This change required an impressive all-night effort from organizers to move the entire competition and production infrastructures to the other side of the resort. The conditions in the new venue were challenging, but with dry conditions across much of North America, it was still a huge victory to complete another successful event.
The day began with Snowboard Women, with Erika Vikander (USA) grabbing her second event victory of the 2022 season. She was followed by Katie Anderson (CAN). Former World Champion Manuela Mandl (AUT) rounded out the podium in 3rd place.
The next category was Snowboard Men, with Camille Armand (FRA) taking the win. Armand has been on the podium at all three events of 2022; he previously placed 3rd in Ordino Arcalís and 2nd place in Baqueira Beret. In 2nd place was FWT veteran Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA). Cody Bramwell (GBR) finished in 3rd place.
Ski Women again put on an incredible show, and tour rookie Lily Bradley (USA) emerged victoriously. Bradley looked unaffected by the tough conditions as she put down a smooth run with a technical entrance and several fluidly-linked airs. Following up her victory in Ordino Arcalís with another solid result was Jess Hotter (NZL), who took second place with a characteristically hard-charging run. 3rd place went to the young Canadian Olivia McNeill (CAN).
The final category of the day was Ski Men and the drama and action could not have been more intense with Tour rookie Maxime Chabloz (SUI) achieving his second victory in a row.
Max Palm (SWE) was able to bounce back from a brutal crash in Ordino Arcalís to put down another incredible run for 2nd place. Max’s event-winning double backflip in Baqueira Beret was the first time that trick had been successfully landed in FWT history, and he pulled it off again for another podium finish in Canada.
Defending World Champion Kristofer Turdell (SWE) finished in 3rd place.
As the intense action of the competition concluded, riders experienced some of the most emotional moments of the season, with the new overall ranking determining The Cut. The top 25 riders (11 ski men, 6 ski women, 5 snowboard men, 3 snowboard women) are now qualified for the FWT Finals, while those who placed below the qualification line were relegated to the FWQ Finals. Perhaps most surprising among the riders not advancing to FWT Finals was two-time world champion Victor De Le Rue (FRA). Despite a 2nd place finish in Ordino Arcalís, poor results in the other two events were insufficient to secure qualification for the defending champion.