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The world’s best big-mountain riders to compete in the new unified world tour






Lausanne, Switzerland / Salt Lake City, USA – October 11, 2012 — A host of new faces join the leading skiers and snowboarders from past season, as the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE goes into its first season as a globally unified series. The new tour will combine top riders and most champions of last winter’s Swatch Freeride World Tour, Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding. The line-up will additionally include strong talent emerging from the Freeride World Qualifiers as well as some hotly contended wild cards. (Please read the riders’ comments below)




The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE 2013 will kick off at Revelstoke (CAN), January 7, 2013, and then move on to the first European stops at Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc (ITA) and Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (FRA). After the following events at Kirkwood (USA) and Fieberbrunn PillerseeTal (AUT), the qualified riders will prepare for the finals at Verbier (SUI).


This season will be a season of firsts for the FWT, with new riders, a new unified calendar and a brand new partnership with ABS, who will be the tour’s Official Air Bag System Supplier. “Security is key for FWT so it’s essential to partner with the leading manufacturer in that field”, said Nicolas Hale-Woods, Freeride World Tour General Manager Europe. Click here to view the ABS® - FWT TwinBag model with Zip-on partner Dakine. For more information about ABS®:


The top 12 male skiers from the Freeride World Tour 2012 and Freeskiing World Tour 2012 are automatically qualified. For female skiers, the top five from the Freeride World Tour 2012 and the top three from the Freeskiing World Tour 2012 are eligible to compete. The line-up includes skiers like 2012 Freeride World Tour champion Reine Barkered (SWE), 2012 Freeskiing World Tour champion Josh Daiek (USA), two-time Freeride World Tour champion Aurélien Ducroz (FRA), 2011 Freeskiing World Tour champion Drew Tabke (USA), as well as 2012 Freeride World Tour champion Christine Hargin (SWE) and two-time Freeskiing World Tour champion Angel Collinson (USA). Some tour spots have also been reserved for Wild Cards. There are two types of wild cards – those given to riders committed to follow the whole tour and local organizer wild cards given to riders for a single event. In skiing, one of the wild cards was given to Markus Eder (ITA) who recently shone at the Swatch Skiers Cup at Valle Nevado, Chile.


In the Snowboard division, the top six male riders from the Freeride World Tour 2012 and top four male riders from the Masters of Snowboarding 2012 as well as the top three females from the Freeride World Tour 2012 and the Masters of Snowboarding 2012 are automatically qualified. Confirmed snowboarders include 2012 Freeride World Tour champion Jonathan Charlet (FRA), 2012 Masters of Snowboarding champion Sammy Luebke (USA), three-time Freeride World Tour champion Xavier de Le Rue (FRA) from the Swatch Proteam, as well as Ralph Backstrom (USA), Flo Orley (AUT), and 2012 Masters of Snowboarding champion Shannan Yates (USA).


In addition, several riders in all categories qualified through the Freeride World Qualifiers 2012. Talents who now have the opportunity to prove themselves in the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE include skiers Wille Lindberg (SWE), Léo Slemett (FRA), and Pia Nic Gundersen (NOR) as well as snowboarders Ludovic Guillot-Diat (FRA), Joel Rouge (SUI), and French sisters Margot and Elodie Mouthon (FRA).


Download the SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE 2013 Pre-Qualified, Invited Athlete List: Men and Women


Drew Tabke (USA), 2nd Freeride World Tour 2012 Ski Men: “I've competed in the sport for nearly a decade and 2013 looks to be the most exciting year yet. I am so stoked the merger between the two tours is finally going down because it means we’ll finally see the best skiers from around the world at the same events. I expect the level of riding at the Freeride World Tour this year to be at the highest it’s ever been because of the incredible athlete roster. I can’t wait to see what countries and riders are dominant this year. I personally have my money on Team America.” 


Sam Smoothy (NZL), 4th Freeride World Tour 2012 Ski Men: “FWT 2013 is going to be one hell of a show, with all the new riders from the FWQ and the Freeskiing World Tour full claiming rights. We have amazing venues and an incredible amount of talented riders so it’s going to be redonkulous. To have one true world tour and one true world champion is an incredible opportunity and I can’t wait to have a crack at taking home the title.” 


Markus Eder (ITA), wild card: “I think the fusion of the tours is great so finally the world has the one and only champion. For myself, I don't really have big expectations for the FWT 2013. It's my first year and I don't know how it's gonna be. So I’ll just try to do my best, bring some tricks into the game and enjoy the whole thing!”


Léo Slemett (FRA), 3rd Freeride World Qualifiers 2012: “I think the fusion of the three tours is a good thing! I went to the USA for the World Junior IFSA Championships in Snowbird, and judgments were very different between the American tour and European tour... Now, same tour, same rules, it will be the same for everyone with only one world champion. My main objective is to stay in the top 12 to secure my place for the next season. I also want to gain more experience and push my skiing.”


Xavier de Le Rue (FRA), triple Freeride World Tour winner Snowboard Men: “I'm really happy to see The North Face getting on board of the Freeride World Tourfor the next few years. I'm sure that along with Swatch and the reunification of both tours, the FWT will reach a well-deserved next level. On a personal level, filming will keep me a bit too busy to follow the whole tour, but I'll be excited to come and ride three of the events of the tour.”


Christine Hargin (SWE), 2012 Freeride World Tour champion:“Although the best riders from the American tour also participated in previous years, I think a united tour means tougher competition in the races, and a higher level of riding will be required to win. The tour will get better status worldwide. I'm looking forward to see all the skiers that qualified. I think the level will be higher than ever on the tour. I'm also looking forward to ski in Canada and Revelstoke where I couldn’t join in last year, and to re-visit the other ski resorts where we will compete.”


Eva Walkner (AUT), 2nd Freeride World Tour 2012 Ski Women:“I think the fusion of the three tours is a huge step into the right direction. I’m sure that the tour will be much more appreciated all over the world. It may also push the level at the women’s and for sure will result in a tighter competition. Personally, I aim to reach the podium in the overall ranking. But mainly I want to progress and enjoy riding with the other athletes.”


Margot Rozies (FRA), 2nd Freeride World Tour 2012 Snowboard Women: “The fusion of the tours is a very good thing. One single World Tour definitely makes more sense! For me personally, I just wanna enjoy it and have fun riding the runs!”



Competition Calendar


1. Swatch Freeride World Tour Revelstoke 2013 by The North Face

Dates: 7 January; Location: Revelstoke (CAN) 

Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard


2. Swatch Freeride World Tour Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc 2013 by The North Face

Dates: 19 January; Location: Courmayeur-Mont-Blanc (ITA)

Disciplines: Men's Ski and Snowboard


3. Swatch Freeride World Tour Chamonix-Mont-Blanc 2013 by The North Face

Dates: 26 January; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (FRA)

Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard 


4. Swatch Freeride World Tour Kirkwood 2013 by The North Face

Dates: 27 February; Location: Kirkwood (USA)

Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard


5. Swatch Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal 2013 by The North Face

Dates: 9 March; Location: Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal (AUT)

Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard


6. Swatch Verbier Xtreme 2013 by The North Face

Dates: 23 March; Location: Verbier (SUI)

Disciplines: Men's and Women's Ski and Snowboard




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