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Drew Tabke Earns a Podium Spot in Chamonix Freeride World Tour Event
Posted on January 26, 2015

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Images courtesy of The Freeride World Tour/Dom Daher and David Carlier

Eddie Bauer skier Drew Tabke earned a podium spot at the Freeride World Tour event in Chamonix, France on Saturday with a strong finals run in the birthplace of extreme skiing. The two-time Freeride World Champ earned his third-place spot with a smooth, creative run from the 13th start position that netted a score of 89.25. The event was held on the Chamois Face in the Brevent section of one of the world’s greatest freeride destinations.

Last season’s FWT champ, Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) won the event on his home country turf with a score of 92.75 just after the contest was put on a long weather hold due to low-hanging, dense clouds interfering with safety helicopter logistics. The Chamonix Mount-Blanc stop kicked off the 2015 World Tour in fine form with male and female skiers and snowboarders, representing 59 of the world’s best in the discipline of big-mountain freeriding.

The contest venue was east-facing and feature packed, laden with dense powder snow that provided reliable conditions for flow, creativity and trickery. Snow sharks and wind hammered sections added a degree of difficulty that did not detract from the festive FWT atmosphere of the world’s best freeriders going big. The smooth contest was a welcome change from the complications of the 2014 season when several events had to be canceled or relocated due to challenging snowpack and stability situations. The coverage of the event was followed by 106,000 viewers via the live streaming via freerideworldtour.com – despite tricky conditions with clouds just below the face constantly threatening visibility on the Chamois competition face and forcing long weather delays.

Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2015 - www.freerideworldtour.com

On finals day, FWT Champion, Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) set the tone with a score of 92.75 with huge airs and stomped landings. Reine Barkered (SWE) showed that he is still right up there – despite the compact nature of this face not being advantageous to his fast riding style. He placed second with a score of 89.25. Tabke (USA) on the other hand looked like he was right at home on the face, choosing an easier but very playful freestyle line including a Lincoln flip off a sharky lip, giving him a score of 86.25 and 3rd place.

FWT judge, Dion Newport (NZL) was impressed with the variety and what the riders got out of the competition face: “It was great to see so many riders putting together unique and creative lines,” Newport says. “The venue was demanding as it was short and features were close so it came down to riders linking a smooth line together.”

For Tabke, who has his sights set on redemption this year on the tour, the Chamonix venue has been a good one, with a first-place finish in 2013 that kicked off his second World Championship run. “Chamonix and these mountains are part of hundreds of years of history continuing on till today, so you just feel that. It’s like living and breathing the mountains,” Tabke says. “This was really my kind of face, lots of good snow, lots of jumps and it was really easy to see all the take offs from the top so you could plan your run really well top to bottom.”

“My objective is to get to Alaska after the first three stops. We take a lot of pride in it – the American riders – it’s the American stop,” Tabke continues. “Alaska is a totally different league, so it’s almost a different sport – once you are getting in the heli and there is face with no tracks – it’s going to be a whole other ball game out there.”

The Freeride World Tour takes its big-mountain show to Fieberbrunn, Austria from January 30th through February 5th for the next stop of the five-event series. Get the full story and the latest updates at the Freeride World Tour Facebook page.

Watch the ski highlights and a replay of the live contest feed below:

Watch the replay of Tabke’s full run starting at 1:57 into the broadcast.


Live Webcast (Replay) from FWT15 Chamonix Mont… by FreerideWorldTourTV

Author: - Monday, January 26th, 2015
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