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 Sofia 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 qualifiers scheduled for February 2.
It's the first 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 finals 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 alpine snowboard World Cup, the women's standings will definitely 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 first 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 finishes 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 first in Rogla last Saturday, are right at his back.