World Cup to guest in Asia
In the upcoming week, Yongpyong celebrates its debut on the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup tour. After Sungwoo and Seoul already organised World Cups before, the winter sport resort in the countries’ Northeast is the third Korean host to provide facility and structure for competitions of the international contest series. In “Korea’s Ski Mecca”, the fifth World Cup on the Korean peninsula will take place. From February 7th till 9th, 2011, the season’s fourth snowboard cross race and third parallel giant slalom are scheduled attracting some of the world’s best boarder crossers and race boarders.
The field of world class boarder crossers is led by reigning World Champion from Australia Alex Pullin, who podiumed twice this season already and aims for his second World Cup win after having added WCS Gold to his belt in January. In addition, he is currently in a close battle for the SBX World Cup title with two other riders.
At the moment, defending champion Pierre Vaultier from France is in the top position with 1,590 points while “Chumpy” sits in second with a total of 1,450 points. Breathing down their necks is this season’s shooting star from Italy Luca Matteotti (1,280), who triumphed in the second race in Lech (AUT) and also finished fourth at the last Worlds in Spain.
On the women’s side, World Cup leader Dominique Maltais is high-profiled. The 30-years-old French-Canadian has an incredible winning streak of three races this winter thus comfortably leading the table with 3,000 points – with her team mate and 2010 Olympic Champion Maelle Ricker (2,200) and Bulgaria’s Alexandra Jekova (1,800) following in second and third. Will Maltais, the fire fighter, add another victory thus keeping her clean sheet?
Top carver to enter parallel giant slalom
While Pullin and Maltais are on fire in the snowboard cross, Benjamin Karl (AUT) rode into the spot light again at the last Parallel World Cup races and World Championships. After Austria’s big talent had some problems to build up the momentum in the beginning of the season, he took over the World Cup lead again (2,910) by winning the last competitions held in Telluride (USA) and Bad Gastein (AUT).
In addition, he underlined his incredible shape by clinching both, the PGS and PSL Gold medal, at the last major event held in La Molina. However, the road to another World Cup title is still a long one to go down as team mate and current runner-up Andreas Prommegger is only 10 points behind (2,900). In addition, South Tyrolean Roland Fischnaller, WCS Bronze medallist in the parallel giant slalom, is also still in striking distance as third with 2,760 points.
On the women’s side, it seems that Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS) was able to pull clear of their rivals already. The 23-years-old holds the lead with 3,890 points having the advantage over pursuers Fraenzi Maegert-Kohli (SUI, 3,110) and new-fledged World Champion Alena Zavarzina (RUS, 2,168).
In addition, Claudia Riegler (AUT), the oldest racer in the World Cup circus, is having an outstanding season with a top-3 finish in the night parallel slalom of Bad Gastein (AUT) as well as Silver and Bronze at the last World Championships.