Perfect conditions at the Freeride World Tour in Fieberbrunn
For the 13th time the Freeride World Tour made a stop in Fieberbrunn. In bright sunshine and powder snow, Tyrolean Valentin Rainer was able to maintain his overall World Cup lead on home soil with a strong fourth place in the men's ski ranking. In addition to the spectacular runs of the world's best freeriders on the Wildseeloder, the Freeride Festival Fieberbrunn 2023 had a few other highlights in store.
In perfect conditions, only one run was held at the first of two FWT Finals events, in contrast to the original plan, as another FWT Challenger Tour event was staged at Wildseeloder afterwards. A competition format that the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn was able to adopt at short notice after the cancellation of other locations thanks to good conditions.
Tyrolean Valentin Rainer continues to lead Freeride World Tour overall ranking
From a domestic point of view it was a sportive very successful day, finally the chance for the first overall victory of an Austrian skier on the Freeride World Tour lives on for the Tyrolean Valentin Rainer. A fourth place was enough for the skier from Milser in the PillerseeTal to defend his overall lead: "I hurt my thumb an hour before the run, but for that the run was still very good - not the best, but quite solid, that fits," he commented at the finish.
Manuela Mandl, who was able to add another podium finish to her successful freeride career at the first start of the season after injury, said goodbye to the competition circus after the event: "I've been competing in freeride competitions for over 15 years now. I think this was my last appearance on the big stage, my last run on the Freeride World Tour. It was a great time and I had a great finish here today. It's time to leave the stage to the next generation. Thanks to everyone, it was an honor!"
Jonathan Penfield (USA) and Katie Anderson (CAN) on snowboard and Arianna Tricomi (ITA) and Andrew Pollard (USA) secured victories in their categories on ski.
With sustainable images on the screen
But not only from a sporting point of view, the Freeride World Tour is a big topic in the region. Since 2011, Fieberbrunn has been an integral part of the Freeride World Cup and is now the absolute top spot on the scene. Freeride sports in the PillerseeTal have thus also established themselves as an important local economic factor. And with the international broadcast of the Fieberbrunn stop in dream conditions, the big advertising drum was also stirred in 2023. Around 300,000 spectators are present at the stops via livestream. A number that is multiplied in the following weeks - thanks to the stream's Relive function.
In line with the region's strategy for the future, the organizers broke new ground in staging the event this year. The use of a Cineflex helicopter was no longer necessary; thanks to state-of-the-art technology, the 2023 image transmission ran via drones. They provided even more dynamic images of the steepness and challenges of the Face at Wildseeloder. This guaranteed not only spectacular images, but also savings on helicopter flights and thus less CO2 emissions.
Freeride Festival Fieberbrunn
In addition to the spectacular runs of the world's best freeriders on the Wildseeloder, the Freeride Festival Fieberbrunn 2023 had a few other highlights in store. At the start of the event, the second edition of the Freeride Talk was on the agenda. Valentin Rainer, Lukas Müllauer, Nadine Wallner and Roman Kuss took their seats at the Hotel TUI Blue and discussed the roots of freeriding and the future of the sport under the roof of the FIS with moderator Stefan Steinacher.
Also on the days after, the Hotel TUI Blue, next to the Eventvillage at the valley station Streuböden, was the meeting point of the festival. DJ sessions, barbeque and the Freeride World Tour Party gave the opportunity to celebrate the freeride spirit.
Also at the start of the Freeride Festival Fieberbrunn was Tom Öhler, record-breaking bike trial rider. He showed on the trial bike what is possible and broke the imagination limit of many spectators.
Of course, the Meet & Greet with the SCOTT riders and the Freeride World Tour Signing Session were not to be missed. And those who wanted to practice on the skis themselves had the opportunity to put the latest equipment through its paces on three days at the ski test in the Event Village.