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The Judge's Perspective: Women's Results from Verbier XTreme

The Judge's Perspective: Women's Results from Verbier XTreme

[ March 21, 2010 - 10:59am ]
Verbier XTreme
On Saturday, the women skiers and snowboarders tackled Verbier, Switzerland's Bec de Rosses to compete in the final stop of the Freeride World Tour. Norway's Ane Enderud repeated her victory from last year, Jackson Hole's Jess McMillan took second, and wild card entry Julia Mancuso, fresh off her two Olympic silver medals, took an impressive third place. Judge Tom Winter reports.

It’s hard to describe in words how intense the face of the Bec de Rosses, and the riders who challenge it, are. Saturday started rather unpromisingly, with rain in the village and low clouds cloaking the top of the venue. But the weather blew out, allowing both the women skiers and snowboarders to get their runs in. Notable was the presence of Julia Mancuso, the U.S. Olympian. But it was Ane Enderud’s day as the Norwegian skied flawlessly to repeat her heroics from last year here, and win the women’s ski division again. Still, with Jackson Hole resident Jess McMillan taking second and Mancuso getting an impressive third place, the Americans dominated the podium. The day was made even sweeter for the red white and blue as snowboarder Shannon Yates took the top spot followed by the German rider Aline Bock. Switzerland’s Geraldine Fasnacht finished in third for the female boarders.

Then, just as the men’s alpine field was starting to get interesting, Julien Lopez took a horrendous fall, which slowed up the action. The 15 or so minutes that it took proved to be the turning point as the weather closed in and several skiers and riders were left at the top of the mountain, unable to complete their runs.

At first I was disappointed, we’d seemed so close to having the complete event on the ultimate face. The skiing—with 50 and 60-foot airs, high speed turns above big exposure, and impeccable technique in dicey chutes—had been amazing, a pleasure to watch and an honor to judge. Could it be that it would end like this? But then the rider’s board made the call that left butterflies in my stomach. The field would run again, and I’d get to watch—and judge—another day. The men’s field is scheduled to occur another day this week—stay tuned for more details. Or check

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