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Purgatory Resort to host match in first leg of annual snowboarding competition

Results to premiere on Red Bull TV in late February
Professional snowboarder Nils Mindnich of Utah will face off against French pro snowboarder Victor Daviet in a YETI Natural Selection DUEL. The winner will continue to the next stage of the 2024 Natural Selection Tour. (Courtesy of Chad Chomlack, Natural Selection)

Purgatory Resort will play host to a head-to-head snowboarding competition between professional snowboarders Nils Mindnich of Utah and Victor Daviet of France in a YETI Natural Selection DUEL, the first stage of the 2024 Natural Selection Tour.

The tour is designed to showcase the world’s top snowboarders, featuring Olympic athletes and iconic mountain film stars, said a news release by the area tourism office Visit Durango.

Riders will compete on natural and naturally enhanced terrain at six mountain venues worldwide. The duels will determine who moves on to the later stages of the 2024 Natural Selection Tour.

Whichever rider claims victory in Durango will also join 18 returning and invited Natural Selection Tour riders for two live competitions – the YETI Natural Selection Revelstoke and the YETI Natural Selection Selkirk Tangiers – between March 10 and March 17, the release says.

Visit Durango spokeswoman Rachel Welsh said the Natural Selection DUELS are the brainchild of Travis Rice, a backcountry snowboarding legend, and Durango is one of just six locations around the globe to be chosen as a host city for the 2024 duels.

“This is huge for Durango and our snowboarding community,” she said.

She said the exact date of the competition depends on snow, but it’s slated to take place in early February.

Visit Durango and Purgatory Resort shared an announcement of the competition between Mindnich and Daviet featuring clips of the snowboarders on Instagram on Dec. 18.

The competition will be held at Purgatory Resort, and DUELS winners will be revealed in television shows that will premiere on Red Bull TV in late February, the release says. Riders Mindnich and Daviet will stay at Purgatory Lodge and will ride area terrain during downtime in the competition window.

Visit Durango Marketing and Sales Director John Ragozzino said in the release that having Durango and Purgatory Resort host a Natural Selection DUEL is “surreal” and “a dream come true” for the local snowboarding community.

“We are incredibly lucky to have such supportive partners like Purgatory Resort and Purgatory Snowcat Adventures who have worked tirelessly to ensure epic conditions for Nils and Victor’s duel,” he said.

Residents will be able to meet the featured riders at 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Durango, according to the release.

The Natural Selection Tour consists of three stages, starting with DUELS and leading into the YETI Natural Selection Selkirk Tangiers and Revelstoke events.

“The best all-mountain freestyle riders in the world will come together for the crowning of a men’s and women’s champion after the final day of live competition in Revelstoke. The Natural Selection Tour’s mission is to inspire people to forge a deeper relationship with Mother Nature,” the release said.

cburney@durangoherald.com

A previous version of this story misspelled the first name of snowboarder Travis Rice.

Professional snowboarder Nils Mindnich of Utah performs in a Natural Selection Tour duel against Ben Ferguson in Whistler, British Columbia. Mindnich will face off against French pro snowboarder Victor Daviet in a YETI Natural Selection DUEL; the winner will continue to the next stage of the 2024 Natural Selection Tour. (Courtesy of Colin Adair, Natural Selection)


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