NST Tour Wrapped | Hailey Langland and Sage Kotsenburg Come Out On Top

12 riders have advanced into the next round at Selkirk Tangiers...

Mother Nature pulled out all the stops as bright sunshine lit up the vast Montana Bowl’s all-new, natural and naturally-enhanced features including 40 platforms leading to sheer cliffs, spines, pillows and chutes throughout the afternoon.

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The riders wasted no time getting down to business with half of the men’s division dropping first, with most favoring a high-speed approach to the pristine face. Veteran Natural Selection rider Torstein Horgmo (NOR) kicked off the heated head-to-head format narrowly advancing against Mark McMorris (CAN). This first round saw Horgmo, Sage Kotsenburg (USA), Austen Sweetin (USA), and Mikey Ciccarelli (CAN) hammering through the fresh course to advance to the YETI Natural Selection Selkirk Tangiers. Highlights from this bracket include Kotsenburg’s massive backside 360 over the cliffs, Horgmo’s backside 720, Ciccarelli’s Cab 540 and Sweetin’s fast and loose riding. 

“Craven is one of the best pillow and cliff riders, so I knew that I had to step up,” said Kotsenburg.

“There was a pillow covered spine line that was looking good, so I crept up on it for a big back three (360) and luckily the landing was super deep.” 

On the women’s side, speed control and line selection were the keys to advance. This round saw big upsets with Hailey Langland (USA) putting down two clean runs to eliminate 2023 Natural Selection Tour Champion Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL), Jamie Anderson (USA) advancing over 2022 Natural Selection Tour Champion Elena Hight (USA), and Marion Haerty (FRA) advancing over 2021 Natural Selection Tour Champion Robin Van Gyn (CAN). Also advancing is Natural Selection rookie Mary Rand (USA) over Hana Beaman (USA). This action-packed day, full of upsets, set the Tour up for a brand new, first-time 2024 women’s champion.

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“Natural Selection is in a league of its own. I grew up riding slopestyle and competing, but I also love filming and riding pow. This marries the two and it’s super fun,” said Langland, who started off with a clean back 360. “Very happy to stay on my feet, it’s my first totally clean NST run. The rest just flowed and I got to the bottom without any snow in my goggles!”

The second half of the men’s field closed out this full day of competition with a series of matchups that featured a seamless merging of freeriding and freestyle. Advancing to the Selkirks are Jared Elston (USA), Nils Mindnich (USA), Torgeir Bergrem (NOR), and Travis Rice (USA). Highlights from this bracket include lines with massive exposure and velocity from Elston and Bergrem. Mindnich put on a freestyle display with a massive switch backside 720 and Rice versus Red Gerard (USA) tying with two of the highest scores in an incredible last run of the day, which defaulted to Rice’s first run winning score. 

With fresh snow early in the week, snow safety teams set off small avalanches on the eastern and middle sections of the course before the competition started, which pushed most riders to the western side of the venue, but kept riders safe. 

Kotsenburg and Langland both earned the top scores of the day, with an 85 and a 75.5 respectively. Langland shared that she’s “super stoked” to take home the new Ski-Doo, adding of her successful advancement over Sadowski-Synnott, “I’ve had deja vu ever since the draw. It’s awesome because she pushes me. I’ve tried every strategy against her and this time I just took the approach of imagining I was filming a line for a film, not a contest and it worked.” 

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Sendy awards went to Hana Beaman for opening up the Eastern side of the course with giant cliff drops. And on the men’s side Torgeir Bergrem for sending it straight off the nose of a cliff that other riders were only sniffing around. 

“My intention was to have fun, so I took the first run to take the jitters off,” said Horgmo, who landed a back 720 on the top jump before flowing through the rest of the face for a 79.2 in his second, winning run. “But then it was tight with Mark (McMorris) and I–could have gone either way. So I switched to a smaller board in my second run to handle the denser snow. I feel lucky to get to move on and ride big, alpine terrain at the Selkirk finals.”

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The 12 riders, who came out on top today, advance to the YETI Natural Selection Selkirk Tangiers, deep in Selkirk Tangiers tenure for a final day for the ages. Mother Nature chooses both the day and the backcountry venue from a multitude of pillow-laden, feature-rich faces. At stake is the title for the best all-around male and female riders on the planet and new, all-electric Rivian R1T vehicles. Winners will be revealed when the YETI Natural Selection Selkirk Tangiers premiere“as live” starting April 4, exclusively on Red Bull TV.


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