Kirkwood, California- (28 February 2013) – New Zealand’s Charlie Lyons has claimed his first podium spot on the Freeride World Tour, taking out third place at Kirkwood Mountain Resort’s big mountain venue, The Cirque.
The Freeride World Tour is the premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour in the world, featuring the sport’s top athletes competing on the biggest mountain resort venues. Charlie Lyons is making his debut on the Tour this season and has put together some impressive results. He placed fifth at the Tour opener in Revelstoke, 10th in Courmayeur and eighth in Chamonix. He says he “couldn’t be happier about today.”
Kirkwood Mountain Resort’s big mountain venue, The Cirque, was the ideal location for the fourth stop of the 2013 FWT. The Cirque is comprised of exposed, steep and raw terrain, which is permanently closed to the general public allowing for a unique and exciting North American freeride venue.
Under warm and sunny skies with variable snow conditions the highly competitive men’s ski field was chomping at the bit to demonstrate their skills on The Cirque’s many features and steeps. At the end of the day, it was Lars Chickering-Ayers (USA) who claimed the Kirkwood title while Julien Lopez France took the men’s ski second place spot. New Zealand’s Charlie Lyons landed the third podium position with an aggressive run showing high fluidity, stellar technique and a unique top air sent super long. In tough conditions similar to the icy hard pack of New Zealand Charlie more than showed he has what it takes to challenge the world’s best big mountain skiers.
“Today given the poor snow conditions I decided to ski something that was within my range, yet tried to ski on the verge of falling and being safe,” reports Lyons. “With three top 10s I knew I could afford to crash yet knew a podium was within my grasp. I aired bigger than expected at the top of the venue and again lower down so I feel I was rewarded for that.”
The tour started with a roster of 36 prequalified male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers and seven female snowboarders. The 2013 FWT features five stops for male skiers and snowboarders, and four stops for female skiers and snowboarders before a cut will be made for the SWATCH XTREME VERBIER 2013 BY THE NORTH FACE® in Switzerland. After the fifth stop in Fieberbrunn-PillerseeTal, Austria, the top three results out of five events for men and the top three results out of four events for women will be used to qualify riders for Verbier and the 2014 FWT.
Charlie Lyons is now sitting in fourth place on Tour rankings.
“Heading into Fiberbrunn ranked fourth, it’s another competition where I know I can relax once more and enjoy the moment. That’s what’s important to me: skiing for myself, my friends and family back home. Not to mention representing my country. That’s most important to me!”
Fellow New Zealander Sam Smoothy placed 27th in today’s competition following a seventh place in Revelstoke, 13th in Courmayeur and 28th in Chamonix. Having taken three podiums in a row at last year’s Freeride World Tour, including a win in Chamonix, he is understandably frustrated by his 2013 season so far.
“I got caught up on my second cliff after a great start where I finally felt it was going to come together,” relates Smoothy. “After crashing out the pressure is on for me at Fieberbrunn.”
The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® continues its competition schedule in Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal (AUT) on March 9, and concludes in Verbier (SUI) on March 23.