Truckee’s Luebke leads strong local Freeride performance in Austria
Truckee’s Sammy Luebke finished on the podium for the second consecutive Freeride World Tour event last Saturday, claiming third overall in the men’s snowboard division.
Luebke, the tour’s three-time defending champion, and the rest of the field, including two other local snowboarders, traveled to Fieberbrunn, Austria to take on the backcountry around the Wildseeloder — a freeriding Mecca in the Kitzbuhel Alps.
Luebke was the first rider to make his way down the mountain, which the tour called “one of the most technical and challenging venues on the calendar.”
The 29 year old put together a hard-charging run down the venue, highlighted by a 360 over a feature in the middle of his run for a score of 1,980 points to claim third overall.
“Stoked to make another podium here in Fieberbrunn!,” wrote Luebke in a post on Instagram. “It was a fun event to watch, and everybody threw down!”
France’s Victor De Le Rue won the event behind numerous 360s as he cut his way down the venue, earning a score of 2,500 points. American rider David Baird was second with a score of 2,200 points.
Also from Truckee, Jonathan Penfield, 31, was sixth with a score of 1,455. Penfield blasted down the course, taking huge chances by transferring across a gap near the top of his run before launching off a feature at the bottom of the venue.
Another local rider, Christopher Galvin, 31, floated a big 360 off a feature near the middle of the venue as part of a run that scored 1,455 points for a seventh-place finish.
With two more events left on the world tour, Luebke currently sit in third place in the standings and trails De Le Rue by 820 points for first place. Penfield is in sixth place with 5,055 points, and Galvin is in eighth with 3,105 points.
In women’s skiing, Jaclyn Paaso, who competed out of Squaw as a youngster, took fifth at Wildseeloder with a score of 1,625 points. Hedvig Wessel, of Norway, won the event with a score of 2,500 points. Hazel Birnbaum, who skis, out of Kirkwood, was 10th with 840 points.
Athletes will head to Ordino, Andorra the first week of March for the next event.
For results and video of skiers and riders performances, visit FreerideWorldTour.com.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.