FIS Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour returns to Japan with back-to-back races
Asahikawa, a World Cup host back in 1999 and 2001, will host two races for the alpine snowboarders. Besides the season's final parallel giant slalom also the third parallel slalom will take place on February 28th and March 1st. Both events will be organised in the single run format.
Asahikawa will also have the honour to crown this season's first World Cup title winners. With the fourth parallel giant slalom wrapping up the faster discipline of the Alpine Snowboard tour, Marion Kreiner (AUT) will finally get her career's second crystal globe for the pgs title since 2013.
On the men's side of things, all eyes will be on the duel between two-time Olympic Champion Vic Wild (RUS) and Zan Kosir (SLO), the second and third ranked riders of the last stop of the circuit at Sudelfeld, Germany who are both putting out feelers to their career's first crystal globe.
While the US-born Russian currently sits in first of the pgs World Cup ranking with 2,120 points, the Slovenian leader of the Alpine Snowboard Overall World Cup Ranking is within reach (2,000).
However, both have to keep Andrey Sobolev (RUS) in sight as the reigning PSL World Champion and 2015 PGS silver medallist earned his outside chance on the title with 1,610 by winning the Sudelfeld race beginning of February.
In addition, both events, the pgs and psl, are of high relevance in the battle for the psl and overall World Cup title. With only two races to come after the international contest series' stop over in the land of the rising sun, a preliminary decision is pretty likely, especially in the men's overall ranking.
However, with the world's best athletes all travelling over the pond to compete in their first Asian World Cup race since Yongpyong, Korea back in 2011, everything seems possible.
All current World Cup standings can be checked online.
Preliminary Time Schedule Asahikawa
Feb 28 Qualifiers Ladies & Men PGS 9 AM LOC, Finals Ladies & Men PGS 1 PM LOC
Mar 1 Qualifiers Ladies & Men PSL 9 AM LOC, Finals Ladies & Men PSL 1 PM LOC