Edwards’ Blake Moller looking forward to Freeride World Tour finals in Verbier: “People are going to go hard” | VailDaily.com

Edwards’ Blake Moller looking forward to Freeride World Tour finals in Verbier: “People are going to go hard”

It’s a family affair for the Mollers in Switzerland right now

Blake Moller, 20, grew up in Edwards snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek. He’s a rookie on the Freeride World Tour this year, qualifying for the finals that will take place Monday in Switzerland. (Jeremy Bernard, Special to the Daily)

On Monday in Verbier, Switzerland, Edwards’ Blake Moller will be one of six men to compete in the Freeride World Tour snowboarding finals. With the seven-hour time difference, tune in to watch live online at http://www.freerideworldtour.com as Moller takes to the big mountain course — the pinnacle of the freeride sport.

With 3 feet of snow in two days leading into the weekend and sunny skies forecasted for next week, conditions are looking prime for the finals.

“I’m very excited,” Moller said from Verbier. “It should be fun. It’s always a good show on that venue — people are going to go hard.”

To qualify for finals, Moller had to score top six overall after the three-competition tour in Europe. He finished the first competition with a silver followed by a first-place finish in the second event, both in Andorra. In the third and final comp in Fieberbunn, Austria, with a position already secured for the finals, Moller went big — hucking a 720 but unable to land it cleanly.

The winner of that third comp, Victor de le Rue’s winning run featured a 360.

“I had nothing to lose going into it,” Moller said of the third comp. “Even if I was in a different position, that hit was one of the first things I saw and knew I had to do something off it.”

Despite “whacking some bushes” on the landing and “somehow” popping up on his feet on the 720, Moller came away unscathed.

The 720 is a rare trick in the world of freeride competitions — usually taking place on some of the gnarliest mountains in the world.

“Travis Rice did it in Japan a couple of years ago,” Moller said, thinking back on the history of the sport.

Simply being in the company of the snowboarding legend is an impressive feat for Moller.

While on the tour and in Verbier now, Moller is enjoying the fresh snow and riding with his competition ahead of finals.

“We’re just all riding together like a crew,” he said. “It’s kind of whoever’s at the gondy in the morning is who you end up riding with that day. It’s all fun. We’re just all out there shredding together, which is why we do it anyways.”

The Verbier venue, though, will test the riders’ skills.

“I wouldn’t say this venue is very playful,” Moller said. “It’s pretty aggressive start to finish. I’m pretty sure there’s climbing routes on it in the summer.”

In the three Freeride World Tour competitions leading up to the finals, Blake Moller has impressed in his first year on tour, earning silver in the first comp and gold in the second before going big in the third event, a throwaway event of sorts for Moller who aready secured a spot in finals. (Domdaher, Special to the Daily)

Moller family in Switzerland in full force

Moller, being the middle child of three brothers, is the only snowboarder in the family. His older brother, Grifen, has competed in the Freeride World Tour before, on skis, and is looking to qualify again to be on the circuit with his brother. Blake’s younger brother Tanner, also a skier, is set to compete in the Freeride Junior World Championship in Verbier a week after Blake’s competition.

The Moller family is out in full force in Switzerland for the big week of competition.

“We’ve got a Verbier-filled week,” Blake said.

As the only snowboarder in the family, Blake said he gravitated to the board over skis when he was 4 or 5 after picking up skateboarding.

“I don’t know,” Tanner said of what went wrong with his brother Blake, “I remember him skiing when he was really young, but I don’t think he liked it. He just likes the style of snowboarding.”

No matter on a board or skis, the Moller family knows how to get down the mountain in style.

“We’re just enjoying the Verbier pow, and just going to keep ripping it until the comps,” Blake said.

Follow Blake on Instagram to see his travels, competitions and more at bmo_83.

Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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