Bansko to debut as World Cup host
Over the next couple of days, Bansko is set to celebrate its debut as a World Cup host organising races for both, the alpine snowboard World Cup tour as well as the snowboard cross World Cup series. Known as one of the biggest resorts of the country, Bansko will become the second venue in Bulgaria to host a snowboard World Cup since Sofa 2007 (Big Air).
While the carving specialists will compete in two parallel giant slaloms slated to take place on February 3 and 5 on the Alberto Tomba slope, the 2016-17 season's sole sprint snowboard cross will be staged on February 4 with the qualifers scheduled for February 2.
It's the frst time in almost four years that raceboarders as well as boarder cross riders come together for World Cup events.
Back in March 2013, 2017 world championships host in waiting Sierra Nevada (ESP) did organise the World Cup fnals as part of their road to this season's highlight – with the pgs been cancelled due to the snow conditions back in the days though.
Now, a few more thousand kilometres to the east, it's time to celebrate the good old times when riders of all kinds did compete on the same slopes. And things couldn't be more exciting.
In the snowboard cross, the sole sprint event of the season won't really ask for strong legs and stamina but for a good start in order to get on the best line frst.
But as the full set of World Cup points will be rewarded to the best athletes, there is some serious business to expect in the Pirin Mountains.
Especially as last's year's great debut of the sprint sbx format at Feldberg (GER) provided some head-to-head duels in the knock out heats – from start all the way down to the fnish.
However, as the start will be key to success, Hagen Kearney (USA), who locked in his career's frst at the World Cup opener in Montafon earlier this season thanks to an outstanding reaction time in the start gate, might be able to catch up with Omar Visintin (ITA) in the race for the Crystal Globe again.
Right now, the South Tyrolean World Cup leader has 1,600 points with Kearney sitting in second position with 1,290 points.
In the women's event, the best two ladies at the start, Eva Samkova (CZE, 1,450) and Belle Brockhoff (AUS, 1,400) are the leading duo with Chloe Trespeuch (FRA, 1,300), Lindsey Jacobellis (USA, 1,200) and Michela Moioli (ITA, 1,200) breathing down their necks.
But with four-time world champion Jacobellis being not the best starter in the last races, chances are high that the star of the scene might lose some contact to the leading quartet.
In the alpine snowboard World Cup, the women's standings will defnitely be mixed up again with current World Cup leader Ester Ledecka (CZE, 1,800) missing out the double event.
The Czech super star decided to participate in her frst ever alpine skiing world championships in St. Moritz and therefore will lose her top spot of the ranking.
Most likely to Ina Meschik (AUT, 1,600) who is the only one besides the reigning world champion to podium in both parallel giant slaloms of the season.
“Of course it's a bummer for Ester with those calendar clashes. But I will focus on my race and not on what my rivals do,” said Meschik before traveling to Bulgaria. A smart plan as two good results could make the Carinthian also the new alpine snowboard overall World Cup leader.
While Meschik seems to be safe to take over the Yellow Leader bib, the men's competition will feature a battle of three for the World Cup lead.
Local favourite Radoslav Yankov (BUL), the only one with podium fnishes in both season's pgs races, is in front with 1,400 points. But Austria's living racing legend Benjamin Karl (1,360) as well as Switzerland's Nevin Galmarini (1,290), who comes fresh off his career's frst in Rogla last Saturday, are right at his back.
For a more detailed information on the time schedule in Bansko please click href="http://medias4.fis-ski.com/pdf/2017/SB/7125/2017SB7125PROG.pdf">here.
- Bansko to debut as World Cup host
- Bansko is the second ever Bulgarian venue to host a World Cup since Sofa 2007 (big Air)
- First time since 2012-13 season's fnals in Sierra Nevada (ESP) that events of the alpine snowboard and snowboard cross World Cup tour take place at the same venue
- Story A: Sole sprint SBX of the season
- Story B: Women's pgs World Cup leader to miss both pgs races in Bansko due to a participation in the alpine skiing world championships in St. Moritz (SUI)
- Story C: Local hero Radoslav Bansko leading a battle of three in the race for the men's pgs World Cup title
For editorial usage free of charge photos from the 2016-17 pgs and snowboard cross World Cup season can be found online:
- PGS Carezza (ITA) © Miha Matavz
- PGS Rogla (SLO) © Miha Matavz
- SBX Montafon (AUT) © Chad Buchholz
- SBX Solitude (USA) © Sarah Brunson
- FIS World Cup Calendar
- FISSnowboard Facebook
- FISSnowboard Twitter
- FISSnowboard Instagram
- FISSnowboard Youtube