Sochi, Squaw Valley USA, Tignes and Verbier have been confirmed as the four locations for the second edition of the Freeride World Tour. In addition, a bunch of new Freeride World Qualifier events have been added to the tour, offering more events to more riders.
The planet's top slope freeriders will start in Sochi with the Nissan Russian Adventure 2009 and then travel to the USA, France and Switzerland to prove their skills on some of the world's most challenging faces. The Freeride World Tour has a prize purse of a whopping $250,000 - the highest sum ever to be paid in ski or snowboard freeride contests.
Up to 40 male and female riders plus wild cards are invited to the first three contests: Nissan Russian Adventure in Sochi (Russia), Nissan Tram Face in Squaw Valley (USA), and Nissan Freeride in Tignes (France). The final contest will take place in Switzerland with the Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2009, on the gruelling north face of the Bec des Rosses, one of the most challenging descents in the world of freeriding.
“We are very excited by the addition of new Freeride World Qualifier events in countries including Italy, Slovakia and Norway," said Jean-Pierre Diernaz of Nissan. "This will allow more athletes than ever before the opportunity to qualify for the four tour events. Through these, we hope that the Freeride World Tour will uncover the next generation of male and female international skiers and snowboarders."
In order to allow freeriders who are not qualified for the Freeride World Tour to participate and score points, the Pro Freeriders Board elected existing international events to be part of the Freeride World Qualifier. Riders participating in those events collect points in the Freeride World Ranking, where the three best results will create the 2009 Freeride World Champions who will be crowned in Verbier after the Xtreme.
The four events of the Freeride World Tour 2009 are: 20-25 January: Nissan Russian Adventure - Sochi, Russia 27 February - 5 March: Nissan Tram Face - Squaw Valley, USA 8-14 March: Nissan Freeride de Tignes - France 20-29 March: Nissan Xtreme - Verbier, Switzerland
Confirmed Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events are: The North Face Masters of Snowboarding - Snowbird (USA), 30 January-1 February - Freeride World Qualifier, sister events of the Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley (USA) Spyder Big Mountain - Fieberbrunn (AUT), 5-15 February 2009 - Freeride World Qualifier, sister event the Nissan Freeride de Tignes (FRA) The North Face Masters of Snowboarding - Crested Butte (USA), 13-15 February - Freeride World Qualifier, sister events of the Nissan Tram Face – Squaw Valley (USA) Winter Mystic Xperience (ITA), 19-22 February 2009 - Freeride World Qualifier The North Face Masters of Snowboarding - Kirkwood (USA), 6-8 March - Freeride World Qualifier Nendaz Freeride (SUI), 13-18 March 2009 - Freeride World Qualifier, sister event of the Nissan Xtreme – Verbier 09 (SUI) Jasna Adrenalin (SK), 31 March-5 April 2009 - Freeride World Qualifier Roldal Freeride Challenge (NOR), 22-26 April 2009 - Freeride World Qualifier, sister event of the Nissan Russian Adventure - Sochi 2010