Sam Lee Edges Closer to Freeride World Tour Final with 4th in Andorra

Wanaka skier Sam Lee is charging through his first season on the Freeride World Tour, yesterday claiming a fourth place finish at the second tour stop in Andorra.

The result comes off the back of an eighth place finish at the competition opener staged at the same ski area in the Pyrenees a week ago. Riders have just one more chance on March 6th in Fieberbrunn, Austria before the best two results of the 2017 season are used to determine whether they advance beyond the qualification cut for the final two events in Haines, Alaska and Verbier, Switzerland. Sam Lee is currently ranked seventh and must be in the top 12 to qualify to compete in Alaska.

Sam Lee at the Andorra stop on the Freeride World Tour 2017, photo by FWT

Sam Lee at the Andorra stop on the Freeride World Tour 2017, photo by FWT

Brilliant sunshine marked the competition originally destined to be the season opener for the 2017 Swatch Freeride World Tour in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. Fifty of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders finally competed in the spectacular event that was rescheduled due to snow safety concerns in the French Alps.

Conditions were challenging for both riders and organizers. Snowfall over the last week brought fresh accumulations to the face and changeable weather resulted in a slight crust forming on the snow surface, making turning conditions variable in some parts of the venue. Despite these challenges and with the aid of the sun which softened the snow during the day, the athletes demonstrated their finest freeriding skills on the Baser Negre venue, situated at 2700m.

“I’m mega happy to come away with fourth place at the second stop of the Tour,” says Sam. “I was extra nervous before the start today, so I’m double happy that it worked out.”

Putting nerves aside Sam skied a confident line through the course, incorporating a backflip, for fourth place.

There was no shortage of action in the ski men category as Léo Slemett (FRA) edged out fellow Frenchman Loïc Collomb-Patton (FRA) with the judge’s favourite line of the day that started with a 360 at the top of the venue and terminated with a full-throttle double-set air into a stomped backflip. While many of the top riders landed high amplitude flips and spins, it was Yann Rausis (SUI) that was able to land the most impressive upper-venue air which secured him the third place position on the podium.

Sam Lee takes 4th place

Sam Lee takes 4th place

Info and results:

Sam Lee at the Andorra stop on the Freeride World Tour 2017, photo by FWT

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