Alpine snowboard World Cup season continues in Rogla
This coming Saturday, January 28, will bring the 2016-17 alpine snowboard World Cup season's fourth parallel event with Rogla hosting the tour's second parallel giant slalom.
It's the fifth consecutive year, that an alpine snowboard World Cup competition will take place on the Jasa slope therefore making a World Cup calendar not possible to imagine without it.
With a break of two weeks since the last World Cup stop in Bad Gastein finally coming to an end, the world's best carving specialist are ready to pick up speed again and battle for some precious World Cup points in thrilling head-to-head duels in order to put some more pressure on current overall World Cup leaders Ester Ledecka (CZE; 2,060) and Andrey Sobolev (RUS; 1,800).
However, both racers know how to deal with pressure as they are not for no reason reigning world champions – Ledecka in parallel slalom, Sobolev in parallel giant slalom.
In addition, both have also underlined their good form already by finishing second in this season's pgs World Cup opener staged in Carezza and winning the Cortina d'Ampezzo parallel slalom just a few days later.
And if that wouldn't be enough to make them the top contenders for a podium spot, both are also the defending Rogla champions from last season with the Czech superstar also looking back on a win in 2014 on the same slope.
Nevertheless, the current season has produced seven different male and eight different female athletes to place on the podium already.
Ulbing on fire
One of them is Austria's shooting star Daniela Ulbing who not only descends on Slovenia with back-to-back podiums of the last two World Cup races.
The 18-year-old racer will also try to keep the momentum of two wins at the Austrian nationals about ten days ago.
And with the direct knock out system of the single run format in place for this weekend's event it's pretty likely that riders will make it in the top-3 of Rogla who haven't placed there this season yet.
“With the podium streak on my back I definitely increased my self-confidence and will enter the race now differently,” she said.
One leaves the show, another one comes back
In addition, there are some big news coming from the hosting nation, too.
While 2007 world champion Rok Flander will race his career's last World Cup retiring from competitive sport after his 143 World Cup start, another big name is celebrating his much-anticipated comeback to the slopes.
Zan Kosir, a two-time medallist of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, will be back to action after he has been sidelined from action since March 2015 due to back problems.
“I decided to start because it's my home race. We will see how it goes. Of course there is a lack of racing, but you have to start somewhere. So, I don't expect to be on the podium although the fans might see it differently,” Kosir, who has been training in Rogla for a while now, said.
Qualifications are scheduled for January 28 at 9 AM CET with the finals slated to take place at 1 PM CET. On Friday night, Rogla will also host a public bib draw right on the slope followed by some DJ party.
Eurosport Asia as well as Eurosportplayer.com will broadcast the finals live; so does ORF Sport+, BNT 1 and SRF Sport 3.