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Freeride World Tour Pros stop in Golden at Kicking Horse

Men’s and women’s pro snowboarders and skiers hit the slopes on Friday, Feb. 17
Freerider Ross Tester competes on the Freeride World Tour at Kicking Horse in 2022. (FWT photo)

The Freeride World Tour (FWT) hit the slopes in Golden yesterday for its BC Pro event (Feb. 17) at Kicking Horse.

Professional women and men – skiers and snowboarders – took on the challenging terrain in Golden. The event had been postponed from its original date in January, due to conditions. More than 40 athletes from around the world competed, including four Canadians.

Judged on choice of line, fluidity, control, jumps, and technique, the riders were carefully scrutinized to determine the best riders of the day.

Max Hitzig of Germany beat out Canadian, Marcus Goguen, and claimed first place at the Kicking Horse stop of the FWT. Valentin Rainer of Austria rounded out the podium with a third-place finish. In is run, Hitzig landed what is suspected to be the biggest backflip in the contest’s history.

“I wasn’t sure if it [the backflip] was going to work. I saw Yu Sasaki send the pyramid cliff three years ago, which is why I went for it today. I’m so stoked,” said Hitzig in a press release.

French skier Megane Betend took first place in her event, setting her up for a shot at the world title. The other medals went to Elisabeth Gerritzen from Switzerland in second, and Addison Rafford from the Unted States in third. Betend was on the cusp of earning a spot in the finals, and knew she had to finish high on the podium to move forward.

“I said to myself, ‘go big or go home!’ I am stoked that it worked,” said Betend in a press release.

Mexican snowboarder, Liam Rivera, took first run and first place in Golden, which was much to his surprise.

“I don’t think I quite believe it yet. I came here just wanting to make the cut, and now I have taken the win. I’m very happy,” said Rivera in a press release.

Although Rivera took the win, Ludovic Guillot-Diat of France claimed second-place, which insulated his position on top of the overall points for the tour. Behind Rivera and Guillot Diat was American rider, Jonathan Penfield in third-place.

Australian snowboarder, Michaela Davis-Meehan, took first place in the women’s snowboarding event after dropping first and sending it big. Davis-Meehan’s finish earned her a medal for the day, but wasn’t enough to advance to the finals. Estelle Rizzolio of France took second-place, and Anna Orlova finished third.

The next stop of the tour is in Austria from Mar. 11–17.

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