Snowboard Jamboree: 4 World Cups in 4 days
The Canada weeks of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup kick off in the countries’ largest state with a true snowboard marathon. From February 17th till 20th, 2011, a total of four events are scheduled in Quebec City and in Stoneham. The ski resort nearby the province capital serves as a World Cup host for the seventh time having been part of the calendar five years in a row now. The so-called Snowboard Jamboree, which includes a bunch of side events every day, starts things off with a snowboard cross on February 17th (qualifiers on 16th). On Friday, February 18th, the halfpipe cracks compete in a night final while one day later, the last big air of the season will bring some snowboard action downtown. The race boarder will wrap up the week with this winter’s third parallel giant slalom on Sunday, February 20th.
More than 300 athletes coming from a total of 27 nations will compete in Quebec City and Stoneham over the course of the up-coming days. The international field is led by the likes of some of the reigning World Champions. While Australia’s Holly Crawford (halfpipe), Nathan Johnstone (halfpipe) and Alex Pullin (snowboard cross) will enter the show, also US rider Lindsey Jacobellis (snowboard cross) as well as Norway’s Hilde-Katrine Engeli (parallel slalom) and Austrian double Gold medallist Benjamin Karl (parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom) will start.
As some more international top guns flew in, the battle for World Cup points not only promises some high class snowboarding but also some interesting decisions for the World Cup rankings. At the moment, almost every discipline offers a tight race for the Chrystal Globes. In the men’s snowboard cross standings, defending champion Pierre Vaultier (FRA, 1,590) is only 140 points ahead of Alex Pullin (1,450). In the women’s Parallel World Cup, so far leading Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS, 4,180) and runner-up Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli (SUI, 3,910) are only 270 points apart.
In the Big Air/Slopestyle World Cup table, Rocco van Straten (NED, 1,185), Michael Macho (AUT, 1,016) and Zachary Stone (CAN, 800) might use their chance of bettering up their position while the so far first, third and fourth ranked riders have not applied to start in Quebec. In the halfpipe, Nathan Johnstone aims for the sole World Cup leadership while on the women’s side, the Chinese team internal “pentathlon” enters round number three.
Only Canada’s Dominique Maltais (SBX, 3,000) and Benjamin Karl (PAR, 3,910) currently have a comfortable lead of 800 and 790 points, respectively, over their pursuers.