Manon Loschi & Max Hitzig Jeremy Bernard/Freeride World Tour



Double Vision

Manon Loschi and Max Hitzig talk about the FWT Finals

By: Klaus Polzer March 14, 2024

The final events of the 2024 Freeride World Tour are just around the corner. The fight for the overall title is tense, as we laid out in our preview article, but Manon Loschi and Max Hitzig are currently ahead of the pack. We met with the tour leaders right before the first finals event in Fieberbrunn to talk about their perspective on the immanent show-down and on what happened so far this season.

Downdays: You are both on top of the rankings but you are also pretty new to the FWT. Manon, this is actually your rookie season. How was it so far? Did you ever imagine that it would go that well?

Manon Loschi: It feels good to be on the tour and of course it feels great how it went so far. I had qualified for last year’s FWT already, but then I got injured and couldn’t ski. So I got an injury wild card for this season and I’m happy that I managed to make good use of it. But I didn’t expect anything. I generally don’t think too much about the future. I just want to ski and have fun. Usually I’m having a good time when skiing and I have a good time here, so it feels normal, I’d say.

Downdays: Max, for you it’s the second year on the tour. You already had a great season last year, but this year it’s just been a blast for you. What’s different this year? Did you change anything?

Max Hitzig: I didn’t really change anything and it also doesn’t feel any different this year to be on the tour. Basically, I approach every event the same, it doesn’t matter what contest it is and what my position in the ranking is before the event. I just want to ski as good as possible and that’s what I focus on. Last year it went really well but in the end I was a bit disappointed that the final contest in Verbier was cancelled since I was sitting in fourth position overall and would have had a shot at the podium. So I was hoping that I maybe could improve a bit this season but I didn’t let that get into my head before the start of each event. So all in all, I’d say it’s still the same for me on the tour.

1. Manon Loschi with a backflip in Kicking Horse. Dom Daher/Freeride World Tour
2. Max Hitzig with a 360 in Verbier. Dom Daher/Freeride World Tour

Downdays: You both did very well at the first event in Verbier. Was that a relief, particularly as the fight for the spots in the tour finals was so tight this season? Did that make a difference for the rest of the season?

Manon: For me, not really. As I said, I don’t put any pressure on myself and just do my thing. So yes, it feels good when you do well at a competition and I was very happy about my result in Verbier, but it didn’t change anything for me at the next contests.

Max: It was definitely a goal for me to have a good run at the first event. The competition is really tough and you never know what happens; there are some really good riders this season who missed cut in the end. So to have a solid first event was something that I had in mind and when I chose my line in Verbier, I knew I could do well. I didn’t expect it to be a winning line, though, I simply thought it was a solid choice. Of course, it felt even better when I ended up winning. When you have a good result in your bag, and even more so a win, it definitely boosts your confidence. But I don’t think that it influences my strategy of how I approach a competition in general.


Downdays: Here in Fieberbrunn the plan is to have a best-of-two format in the competition. It’s pretty unusual that you get the chance to do two runs in a freeride competition. What do you think about this format?

Manon: I think it’s a really cool format. It gives you more freedom in what you want to do in the competition. You could approach it more strategically or you could just use one run to try something really creative. It’s definitely interesting, I really like it. I don’t know yet on how I will approach the format this time, though, because that will depend on the conditions and it’s not clear yet how the conditions will be. I might just decide for a line and then ski it and maybe try to improve in the second run. But we will see. I don’t have a plan yet and I will decide when I know what the conditions will be like. I have a few ideas for the face but nothing is set in stone.

Max: In my opinion it’s not that easy to deal with this format. Of course you could think that you do a first run that is maybe a bit less risky and then build on it in the second run, but many times it’s not sure what will happen with that second run. The conditions could get worse or the weather could change and then maybe there isn’t even a second run. So I will approach this event as every other contest and do the first run as if it was my only competition run. Then if there will be a second run, we will have some time in-between and I can see what to do with the second run, but I don’t think about it yet.

1. In Georgia, Manon went for another backflip. Jeremy Bernard/Freeride World Tour
2. Max opted for a backflip at this feature, too. Jeremy Bernard/Freeride World Tour

Downdays: We all hope that the final event in Verbier will happen again in a few weeks after it had to be cancelled last year. You both haven’t skied from the top of the Bec des Rosses yet but you skied the Petit Bec in the first Verbier event this season. Would you hope to ski from the top of the Bec in the final event?

Manon: I’m not going to lie, I’d prefer the Petit Bec. I know that the real face of the Bec des Rosses is a mythical and legendary venue in freeriding and it would be sick to start from the top, but I really love the Petit Bec. It’s a super playful venue and it really suits my style of skiing, more so than the big face. So personally, I’d refer to ski the Petit Bec again, but we will see. I’ll take it as it comes.

Max: I have to say that last year I actually wasn’t too sad when we didn’t get to ski the Bec des Rosses from the top. I was sad that the competition didn’t happen but I would have preferred to ski the Petit Bec instead of the big one. Now this year, I would really like to ski the Bec from the top. Although it’s steep and big and intimidating, it would be really cool to lay a good run down that face. I think you simply need some time to wrap your head around the Bec; but after seeing it again this January, I’d be stoked to start from the top at the final event this year.


Downdays: Manon, you’re in the lead of the overall standing but you haven’t won a FWT contest yet. Eventually you could win the tour without winning an event. What would you prefer, winning an event or winning the tour but without winning an event?

Manon: Damn, that’s a good question. I haven’t thought about that. I don’t know… I haven’t asked myself that question yet. I really don’t know because it would be sick to win a FWT contest. But it would also be sick to win the tour, of course. What am I supposed to answer? I don’t know. Let me think. Well, I think I have to answer that I would like to win an event and the tour. (laughs)

Downdays: That’s a good answer! Max, you’ve won some events on the tour already and you’re actually the only rider who could win the overall title in Fieberbrunn already. Have you thought about this and might this change the way you ski here at this contest?

Max: Well, you might think that you could act a bit strategically, but I don’t even want to get into that thinking. In my opinion, it’s almost impossible to ski strategically at a freeride competition. There are so many variables. You don’t know what everybody else is doing, it’s always possible that you get surprised by something in your run… Of course I know about my position and there’s that thought somewhere in the back of my head that I have the chance to win the tour with one more good result, but I try to push that thought away as much as possible. I just try to focus on my run. I want to ski as good as possible and hopefully get another podium. After that, we’ll see what happens.

Downdays: Thank you for your time and good luck for the rest of the season!

Manon drops a cliff in Georgia. Dom Daher/Freeride World Tour
Max takes flight in Kicking Horse. Dom Daher/Freeride World Tour