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LANGE DAY AT VERBIER XTREME !
Legendary Aurélien Ducroz (FRA) and rookie Hazel Birnbaum (USA) won the 20 edition of the Verbier Xtreme. Reine Barkered (SWE) took second place and finished third at Overall Freeride World Tour. Congratulations!!
On Saturday, the battle for the Freeride World Tour titles took place on the mythical Bec des Rosses (3222m), all while celebrating 20 years of Verbier Xtreme. The much respected north face showed a new challenging side, being dressed in a lighter snow cover this year. But Aurélien Ducroz (FRA) and Reine Barkered (SWE) managed it pretty well and used all their experience to put down an impressive run and claim victory and 2nd place on ski category.
Aurelien Ducroz (FRA) who has already won three times on this face and who was competing on an honorary wildcard did not let his fans down. He opened the men's skiing with a spectacular line below the highest start that set the expectations of both the judges and the crowd as to the awesomeness needed for a podium. He has now set his print in the history books as the only skier to have won the Xtreme Verbier 4 times with a score of 88.50. “I'm just really pleased - a 4th victory for the 20th anniversary of the Xtreme! I have so much love for this face. I really feel good here,” Aurelien said emotionally. “I almost changed my line last minute and then with Reine we motivated each other and I went ahead with it. I'm so happy I don't know what to say...”
Just behind Aurelien with a score of 88.12 was another skier who has experience written all over him. Reine Barkered (SWE) went a little slower into the same line as Aurelien but quickly picked up the pace in this line leading to an enormous cliff that he landed perfectly in the exposed area, making it possible for him to take immediate control of the acceleration despite the very steep part of the face. Another A-run from the stomp master that he ended shooting down over the apron at the bottom.
On the women ski category, the young Hazel Birnbaum (USA), rookie on the Freeride World Tour, surprised everyone by winning Verbier Xtreme 2015. She spotted the winning line, and the way she rode it got the crowds screaming in excitement twice! First when she stomped an exposed double up top and second after another big double on the bottom. She scored 88.00 standing out as the only woman scoring in the 80es. “As my rookie year I feel like I learned a lot and I got to be inspired by a lot of incredible women that I've looked up to for so many years, so it's an incredible privilege and an honor to even be part of this event. I'm beyond ecstatic!” Hazel expressed after realizing her outstanding performance.
TINA MAZE TAKES 2ND PLACE OF WORLD CUP OVERALL!
Heroe(s) in this news Tina MAZE
The 2014-2015 FIS World Cup came to an end on Sunday in Méribel with the last race of the season: the ladies giant slalom which offered a suspenseful battle between Tina Maze and Anna Fenninger for the overall ranking.
Heading to Sunday giant slalom in Méribel, the very last race of the season,Tina Maze had a slim eighteen-point lead over Anna Fenninger at World cup overall standing. Third out of the gate, Fenninger clocked the fastest time in the first run and saw Tina Maze come close to her mark, just 0.27 seconds out. The second run was just breathtaking as Anna Fenninger managed to hold on to her position after an outstanding performance to take the win, 0.38 seconds ahead of team-mate Eva-Maria Brem. Tina Maze put everything on the line to put pressure on Anna Fenninger but had to be content with third place, 0.46 seconds off the pace. Anna Fenninger finished with a total of 1,553 points in the overall standings with Maze 22 points behind.
“I had a great end of the season," said Tina Maze. "I am really proud of that. But I lost too much points in Maribor or St. Moritz and even in Are when I wasn't feeling that well. But Anna deserves it. In the end it was fun. It was tight and it made interesting. Either win or lose, we were there. I am happy about that », commented Tina Maze. The 31-year-old Slovenian ended her great season with this second place at overall ranking, thanks to 13 World Cup podiums, but also two gold and one silver medals at World Championships. Congratulations!
NEW HORIZON FOR DOMINIQUE GISIN
Heroe(s) in this news Dominique GISIN
Downhill Olympic champion last year in Sochi, Dominique Gisin decided to end her career. The Swiss athlete took part at her last races in Meribel World Cup finals (downhill, super-G and giant slalom) and will now start to study physics at university. She also wants to pass the exam to get the commercial pilot license. Congratulations and all the best in your new life Dominique!
AMAZING PODIUM FOR DEFAGO'S LAST DOWNHILL
Heroe(s) in this news Didier DEFAGO
Didier Défago, 38, will retired after the World Cup Finals in Méribel this week. But he still has the fire! The Swiss proved it by claiming his first podium of the season this Wednesday, finishing second of the final downhill. Congratulations!
Fastest of the training run on Tuesday, Didier Défago showed once again that he feels perfectly at ease on the “Roc de Fer”. By very warm conditions in Meribel, the Swiss skier -who is retiring after tomorrow’s super-G- almost pulled off a fairy tale race as he came down with Bib 1 and nearly hung on for the victory as he sat in the leader box until Kjetil Jansrud spoiled his party 17 racers later. The Norwegian was one of the few late starters that was able to conquer the soft snow as he edged Defago by 0.24 seconds. Defago still had a silver lining as he got on the podium finishing in second place in his next-to-last race. “I feel a bit sorry for Didier, hope I didn’t break the fairy tale for his last downhill, said Jansrud. But Didier will for sure stay as a legend of our sport. Not just because of his victories, but also for his behavior. He is one of the nicest guy on the tour.”
“When I came here this weekend it was my goal to ski and make it to the podium so it’s a great feeling,” said Defago. “I’m very happy and now I just enjoy this day and all the emotions that go with it. I have a lot of friends and family here so it’s a very nice finish for me. It’s also great for all the staff, the coaches and the servicemen. A nice reward for everyone.”
JEAN-FRED CHAPUIS WINS TO CELEBRATE HIS CRYSTAL GLOBE !
Already assured to win the crystal globe after his third place on Friday, Jean-Frédéric Chapuis won the final skicross race of the World Cup, celebrating his fourth victory of the season. Alizée Baron, fourth, finished second at overall ranking.
The final event of the Audi ski cross World Cup season took to the dramatic Megeve track on Saturday, providing all had all the dram, excitement, and pure celebration one could hope for in a finale, with Jean Fred Chapuis (FRA) taking the win on the day and the win on the season, showing in convincing fashion why he is the 2014/15 ski cross World Cup champions.
Twice fourth in Megève, Alizée Baron was visibly upset following the races, but she quickly found the smile again realizing that this was just one more strong result on a season that saw her finish second behind Holmlund in the overall rankings. A huge leap forward for the French skier who has finished outside of the top ten the past two years.
Jean-Frédéric Chapuis (winner of the skicross World Cup overall ranking): "That's it, I realize that I have the globe! The weight is quite big, it feels good in your arms. It's nice to win the globe, finally. I am happy to have won the last race. And succeed here in front of all my fans, this is one of the greatest gifts I could give them. The champagne shower, they did it well! It's super time. "
Alizée Baron (2nd of the skicross World Cup overall ranking): "Fourth today, fourth yesterday and already fourth here two years ago ... It's funny. At the same time, this tastes less bitter today than yesterday because I have achieved great things, especially in the semifinals. Today I was animated by the desire to defend my second place at overall. It will remain a special season with a lot of gilrs injured, but it's time for holidays , I already want to think about next year. My goal will be to prove that this second place is not stolen. »