Watch: Wānaka's Finn Bilous scores World Freeride silver medal
Verbier, Switzerland (28 January 2024) – Finn Bilous (Wānaka, 24) has finished in second place at the first stop of the 2024 Freeride World Tour in Verbier, Switzerland. This marks a career first Freeride World Tour podium for Bilous, who is competing on the Tour for his second season.
Today’s venue, the Petit Bec, was in prime condition for the athletes, with a consistent snowpack from top to bottom and a fresh layer of snow overnight softening the landings.
Bilous oozed his trademark style and creativity as he made his way down the face, carrying plenty of speed with him, throwing a massive 360 and stomping a flat 360 to impress the judges.
After his run Bilous said, “I’m stoked, it was a nice surprise to wake up to a few extra centimetres this morning and it was definitely hard and fast in there, but just like New Zealand, so I felt at home riding here today and stoked to put one down.”
Max Hitzig of Germany took the win, with two-time Freeride World Tour champion Kristofer Turdell of Sweden rounding out the podium in third.
Fellow Kiwi’s Ben Richards (Wānaka, 24) and Blake Marshall (Queenstown, 29) were also competing today.
Richards dropped into his Freeride World Tour debut and finished in an impressive fifth place at the hotly contested competition, impressing the judges with a huge cross-court air and stomping a flat 360.
Marshall was putting together a heater of a run, but unfortunately came unstuck on his final feature, losing his ski and therefore receiving a ‘no score’.
Bilous, who was crowned the 2023 Snow Sports NZ Freeride Athlete of the Year, made the transition from Freeski Big Air and Slopestyle to Freeride after the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The two-time Olympian is known for bringing his huge park tricks to the backcountry and putting together creative lines.
With five more stops on the 2024 Tour, Bilous explained; “I want to take it event by event and find lines that are true to my style and the type of thing I want to represent. I am going to keep looking for them, try to put some flavour in there and have fun with it.”
The Freeride World Tour is scheduled to continue next weekend in Andorra, snow conditions dependent.
Main image: Men’s Ski Podium [L-R] Finn Bilous (NZL) in second, Max Hitzig (GER) in first, Kristofer Turdell (SWE) in third. Credit Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour.
As the event is still live we cant post a single clip - so go to 4.09.20 in the live feed. (let the commercial run first and the link should take you to Finn's run)