Veteran snowboarder Aurelien Routens of La Grave, France, moved up in the ranks at the Swatch Freeride World Tour presented by The North Face with technical, big-mountain riding, a first-place finish and a $5,500 prize in Courmayeur, Italy, on Tuesday. His confident, no-hesitation style was evident in his third-place finish in Revelstoke, B.C., earlier this month and this week's step up pushed him into the top slot in the overall FWT ranking.
Routens looked at home in the massive Tête d'Arp face, which featured 45-degree steeps, exposed rocks and cliffs throughout the top section and a rolling, more playful collection of hips, trees and air-time opportunities throughout the bottom.
Jackson Hole, Wyo., native John Rodosky put down a solid run for second place. "I told myself, just snowboard like you snowboard," Rodosky said. "My boy Sammy (Luebke) was there and we had ourselves a good high-five moment. You know, it's like, don't take it too seriously. It's just snowboarding. I picked a line at the top that looked fun and dropped in."
Rodosky blasted a 360 at the top of the face and from there it was on -- cliff drop, pow turns, frontside 360, a method and a backflip. "It's fun to pick a line that you're not really concerned about getting judged on," Rodosky said. "I feel like that's a line I would have ridden any other day, whereas a lot of the time you come to these events and you find you're putting yourself in these situations simply because you know you're being judged and you know people are watching and you want to be gnarly."
Swiss rider Emilien Badoux rode smooth and fast, stomping a 360 at the bottom of the course and putting together a line that scored 76 points and put him in third place.
Ralph Backstrom, who won by a hefty margin in Revelstoke, managed his sluff while finding a portion of the face that didn't have a single track and finished in fifth. He is now second in the FWT overall ranking.
The Courmayeur stop was a men's only contest. The women will return at this weekend's FWT stop in Chamonix, France.
2013 Freeride World Tour Courmayeur, Italy: Men's Snowboard Results
|7||Xavier de le Rue||67.67|
|10||Irian Van Helfteren||63.67|