Fresh off the plane from the PyeongChang Olympics, the best halfpipe skiers in the world are gathering in Tignes between the 19th-22nd of March for the Ultimate Ears Freestyle Tour, the final stage of the discipline’s World Cup.
6 athletes will be proudly wearing medals won in Korea, not least Marie Martinod, with this event being the French rider’s final competition.
The stakes are high: the Crystal Globe for halfpipe will be awarded to the top ranking male and female on the World Cup circuit and a prize money pot of €43,000 will be shared out.
This final will be the only post-Olympic international meet in halfpipe skiing. Set at night on the snowfront, it’s set to be a show to remember for the masses of spectators coming to cheer, applaud and congratulate the Olympic medallists. Last year 10,000 people gathered at the foot of the Tignes Superpipe to celebrate the coronation of two children of the land, Kevin Rolland and Marie Martinod.
After a career spanning 15 years with 2 Crystal Globes, 7 World Cup victories, 4 X games medals and 2 Olympic silver medals, Marie Martinod will make her final World Cup drop-in on Thursday 22nd March in Tignes.
The competition is sure to be stiff with the appearances of Cassie Sharpe (CAN), Olympic gold medal holder and American Brita Sigourney, bronze medallist and current World Cup leader, not to mention two equally ferocious competitors in the form of Americans Maddie Bowman (Olympic Champion 2014) and Annalisa Drew, the Japanese skier Ayana Onozuka (two-time world champion 2015 and 2016), the German Sabrina Cakmakli as well as the English riders Molly Summerhayes and Rowan Cheshire.
This year it’s the Americans David Wise, two-time Olympic champion (2018 and 2014), and Alex Ferreira, Olympic Runner-Up 2018 and current World Cup leader, who are dominating the circuit and will go head-to-head in this final to compete for the Crystal Globe.
French skier Kevin Rolland, twice holder of the Crystal Globe (2016 and 2017), hopes to end his season with a bang in front of his home support after a season blighted by injury. He’ll be accompanied by compatriot Thomas Krief who’ll be seeking to continue his rise in power after an impressive qualification for the Olympic final.
To complete the pack, PyeongChamg bronze medallist Nico Porteous, Americans Aaron Blunck (1st in X Games 2017 and currently 3rd in the overall standings), Birk Irving, Torin Yater-Wallace (1st in X Games 2013 and 2016), Canadians Simon d’Artois (1st in X Games Aspen 2015) and Noah Bowman, Swiss duo Robin Briguet and Joel Gisler (2nd in the Secret Garden World Cup event) and Brit Peter Speight will all also be wearing starting bibs.
Satisfied with their synergy with the 2017 event, the brand Ultimate Ears has strengthened its involvement becoming the title partner of the Freestyle Tour. This partnership highlights a shared passion for authenticity; freestyle skiing being the expression of an athletic art that’s daring, captivating and original.
Ultimate Ears will put together a behind-the-scenes of the event to show how the athletes appreciate music inside and outside of the Tignes halfpipe with their new Wonderboom Freestyle range.
Again this year, over 10,000 people showed up at the foot of the Tignes Superpipe to encourage the athletes and witness the night-time final. We expect another amazing atmosphere thanks to the crowds of fans coming out especially to congratulate the recent Olympic medallists.
The Ultimate Ears Freestyle Tour also has an entertainment programme lined up throughout the competition week in the snowfront village.
During the whole event there will be in-resort JIB demos, freestyle skiing shows from pros, amateur airbag contest by Ultimate Ears and lots more entertainment from other partners to keep the excitement bubbling.
Monday 19th March: training
Tuesday 20th March: training
Wednesday 21st March: Men’s and Women’s qualification
Thursday 22nd March at 18:30: Men’s and Women’s night-time finals
Tuesday 20th March - 14:00: amateur airbag contest
Wednesday 21st March - 15:30 - 18:00: JIB demos
From Tuesday 20th- Thursday 22nd March -10:00 – 17:00: entertainment in partners’ village