The Nissan Freeride de Chamonix Mont-Blanc 2011 by Swatch went off in Courmayeur on the Italian side of Mont Blanc on Sunday, 23 January 2011. A strong field of freeriders were surprised by the quality of both the snow and the number of features. As a result, the north face of Mont Fortin produced high-quality runs that were fast and fluid with multiple airs. The world’s best freeriders kicked off the official Freeride World Tour in Courmayeur during a day that boasted an astonishingly high level of action. Although it was difficult to know what the conditions were going to be until they dropped in, riders reported they were really happy to find a face this good despite poor conditions throughout the Alps. The 300-meter face was crowned by three different starting options and competitors described it as having loads of playful line choices, any of which could have produced the winning run. In the end the day the competition was dominated by the French who took all three podium spots in men’s snowboarding.
The men's podium. Photo: Dom Daher.
In the Men’s Snowboard division, Freeride World Champion Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) threw down what many thought to be the best run of the day with a fast clean double drop to straight line at the end of his run. With this win, de Le Rue continues his dominance of the Freeride World Tour by extending his streak of consecutive FWT wins to four.
At the women’s comp, it was the wild cards who stepped to the plate when freestyler Anne-Flore Marxer (FRA/SUI), competing in her rookie season of the tour, proved that women snowboarders can rip world class faces with aggressive grace. Second place was also taken by wild card Ursula Wohlschlager (AUT) which puts a new face on the women’s snowboarding division.