|Friday’s competition saw the highest ranked Freeride World Tour athletes and some wild card riders take on the challenging terrain of Verbier’s Bec Des Rosses, the final face of the 2013 tour. 14 male skiers and 7 snowboarders battled it out, not only for victory of the legendary Verbier Extreme competition but for the esteemed title of freeride world champion.
After placing 1st at the Revelstoke and Chamonix stops and consistently finishing in the top half of the pack over the course of the tour, 6th position in the final was enough to secure American skier, Drew Tabke, with his well deserved world champion status. Tabke’s mix of freestyle tricks and solid hard charging impressively saw him hold onto the top spot in the overall ranking for the entire Freeride World Tour season.
Upon his success, Tabke exclaimed, “This is what I’ve worked for throughout almost 10 years of competition. Verbier couldn’t be a better place to do it. It’s a lot of time we put in. We all dedicate a lot of our lives to this so to have it come around is a big payoff for sure. There is a lot of amazing history in freeriding that has pushed us to this moment and I’m really excited to see what will happen the next few years too.”
Fellow countryman and big mountain snowboarder Ralph Backstrom won the Verbier Extreme with an impressive score of 93.67, following several impressive big airs. A previous win in Revelstoke and 2nd place in Chamonix enabled him to clinch the world champion title ahead of Aurelien Routans and defending world champion Jonathan Charlet.
“I’ve got no words. I’m pretty emotional. I’ve had a lot of years trying to get this. I’ve been second a few times and really happy to finally take down the whole tour! There have been a few ups and downs this year, first winning in Revelstoke and then quite a variable season, so I’m really stoked to end on a high note here in Verbier”, enthused Backstrom.
Congratulations to both Ralph and Drew on their new World Champion statuses!
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