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The Freeride World Tour has been plagued by bad luck in the last two years, and today was no exception. After relocating the event from Fieberbrunn to Kappl, Julien Lopez (the second rider of the day) triggered an avalanche “50cm by 40m wide and 100m long” while he was hiking back up to retrieve his ski after a crash.

In spite of being swept over a cliff band, Lopez was able to pull his airbag (which are mandatory on the FWT) and walk away with with only a few bruises. The slide pulled snow off roughly 1/4 of the venue, which had been controlled with explosives on Monday.

After a short deliberation from the safety crew, the event was cancelled.

“Yeah, it’s been a tough year for the tour,” says FWT competitor Matt Francisty . “Bad snowpack, bad stability, now we’re getting a tonne of snow and Mother Nature just isn’t cooperating.

“The conditions in Europe have been so sketchy this year…It’s been tough on everyone.”

Riders and organizers are now setting their sights on the next event in Andorra.

Bad news for the event, bad news for the tour…but good news for Lopez. The incident could have been much worse.

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