The countdown has begun for the Swatch Freeride World Tour 2015 (FWT). Riders have been officially confirmed and are stepping into preparation mode in hopes of capturing a piece of the $400,000 prize money.
All four defending champions in skiing and snowboarding are back in the game for 2015, including Loic Collomb-Patton(FRA), Emilen Badoux(SUI), Nadine Wallner(AUT) and Shannon Yates(USA). Besides the defending hotshots, the rider list features Olympians, Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) champions, wild cards and injury come-backs. Check out the complete list of male and female confirmed riders for the 2015 tour.
On the Men’s side of the Skiing Competition, the newcomers are the winners of the 2014 FWQ region 1 and 2, Leo Slemett (FRA) and Kyle Taylor (USA), along with their respective overall FWQ podium companions. The wildcards are set, with Charlie Lyons (NZL) being the one to watch. Lyons is back on an injury wild card and ready-showing great come-back form winning the FWQ 3* The North Face® Freeski Open NZ 2014 earlier this month.
Taking a look now at the Women’s Ski Competition, the top 7 from last year are back again with strong representation from the US, Austria and Sweden featuring two-time FWT champion, Nadine Wallner (AUT), and former FWT champion Christine Hargin (SWE). Jaclyn Paaso (USA) is especially excited about the FWT stop in Alaska: “This season I’m really looking forward to the Alaska event. I would love to represent the U.S. at this event in North America.”
The Men’s Snowboarding Competition includes the top 8 riders from last year’s FWT who automatically qualified and are present again with current FWT champion Emilien Badoux (SUI) at the top. The wild cards have been given to 2013 FWT champion Ralph Backstrom (USA) and 2012 FWT champion Jonathan Charlet (FRA) who is back from injury (injury wild card).
To close things out, the Women’s Snowboarding Competition features the top 4 women from last season with Shannan Yates (USA) at the top. The newcomers from the two FWQ regions are the winners of the women’s FWQ, Anouck Mouthon (FRA) and Mary Celia Boddington (USA).
Just like previous years, viewers can follow all of the events live through special broadcast events, starting with Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, on January 24, 2015. Check out freerideworldtour.com for the full list of events and broadcast information.