Marshall just misses out on ‘The Cut’

Blake Marshall on inspection day in Georgia. PHOTO: DOM DAHER/FREERIDE WORLD TOUR
Blake Marshall on inspection day in Georgia. PHOTO: DOM DAHER/FREERIDE WORLD TOUR
Queenstown skier Blake Marshall finished fifth in the Georgia stop of the jaw-dropping Freeride World Tour yesterday.

The level of riding was exceptionally high, and the top seven riders in the men’s ski category were rewarded with scores in the 90s for the first time in Freeride World Tour history.

The riders were greeted with fresh snow and picture-perfect conditions in Georgia.

It marked the first time the tour had stopped in the eastern European nation, and the location proved perfect for freeriding, providing steep terrain and unique features.

Marshall knew he had to produce a solid result in order to qualify for the Freeride World Tour finals, and made it clear from the second he dropped in that he meant business.

He started his run with a huge, high-risk 360 off the top feature before making his way down the steep face, taking a unique line and linking together technical tricks with solid, fluid skiing between each feature.

"It felt so good to stomp that," Marshall said.

"It was the perfect take-off for what I wanted to do and I am happy that it worked out."

Canadian skier Marcus Goguen claimed victory, followed by Martin Bender (Switzerland) and Max Hitzig (Germany).

The Georgia event marked the final stop before "The Cut", when the top 11 male skiers, ranked by their top two scores from the season combined, advance to the final two stops of the Freeride World Tour.

New Zealanders Ben Richards and Finn Bilous have both made it through to the finals in Austria and Switzerland later this month.

Despite his fine fifth, Marshall finished 12th overall, so he will compete in the second-tier Challenger Series.