Ladies' alpine snowboard World Cup season preview
The 2015-16 World Cup season will get underway with a single format parallel giant slalom in Carezza, Italy. It's the fifth consecutive year the South Tyrolean ski resort is part of the show and the fourth time the world's best raceboarders come together to open their new World Cup winter.
With the sbx race in Cortina d'Ampezzo being substituted by a parallel slalom under the lights due to the lack of snow just the week after Carezza, the carving specialist will have a total of two events in Italy before going into their Christmas break.
The new year then gets started with a psl and team psl event in Bad Gastein, Austria before Rogla, Slovenia (PGS), Moscow, Russia (PSL) as well as new World Cup host Kayseri, Turkey (PGS) take over the main stage.
Like last winter, the season will conclude with a parallel slalom in Winterberg, Germany and will feature a total of seven stops and therefore seven races plus one team event.
1 – Julie Zogg (SUI, 4,740pts)
2 – Marion Kreiner (AUT, 4,470pts)
3 – Ester Ledecka (CZE, 3,900pts)
2015 WORLD CHAMPS PGS
1 – Claudia Riegler (AUT)
2 – Alena Zavarzina (RUS)
3 – Tomoka Takeuchi (JPN)
2015 WORLD CHAMPS PSL
1 – Ester Ledecka (CZE)
2 – Julia Dujmovits (AUT)
3 – Marion Kreiner (AUT)
The implementation of the single run format to the alpine snowboard World Cup tour has brought more unpredictable races over the recent years with every rider being forced to be 100% on point every time the start gates opens.
With no room for mistakes anymore which the top riders were able to catch up in the re-run format in the years before, many different athletes were able to podium which also made the World Cup ranking and therefore last season's race for the Crystal Globe a very tight one, with a title decision coming down to the very last race.
In the end, those ladies were in front which seem to have the nerves of steel needed for a contest format which has become more thrilling and exciting, a contest format which doesn't allow any kind of unintended incidents.
One of them was Julie Zogg, a multiple junior worlds medallist who definitely had her breakthrough season last winter with not only a fourth rank at the pgs world championships event in Lachtal, Austria but because of her stunning performance over the whole season.
The 2014 Olympian might has been competing on the tour ever since 2007 and finished 6th in the world back in 2012 but after two disappointing results prior to the turn of the year 2015 she clinched a total of five podium finishes of which one was her career's first win (PSL Asahikawa, Japan).
She therefore delivered a season finish which earned her not only the Overall World Cup title but also the PSL World Cup title.
The question if she can tie on to her outstanding season must be answered with Yes as the 23-year-old has underlined a fantastic early season form bringing home 4 podium finishes in six Continental Cups including a win in Echo Mountain, CO.
The win in the second Nor-AM Cup race in Colorado went to Ester Ledecka and therefore to a young lady from the Czech Republic who has had some impressive three World Cup seasons so far finishing the overall ranking in 15th, second and third position so far.
Although the reigning pgs world champion hasn't competed in Europe this winter yet, the 22-year-old from Prague who is also concentrating on her skiing career, seems to be ready for the new season.
So is Ina Meschik. The 25-year-old from St. Veit an der Glan might have been only the fifth-best Austrian race lady of the last season, but thanks to some consistent riding in the first well-attended World Cup-like Europa Cup races she is not for nothing the current EC leader.
Selina Joerg there is another racer well in shape, a racer who is willing to step up her game after some disappointing results in the recent years missing the podium at the Olympics and world champs as fourth twice.
The 27-year-old from Sonthofen, Germany will try to keep the momentum from last week's double Europa Cup event where she not only defended her national PGS crown but also celebrated her career's first back-to-back wins.
However, don't forget those well-experienced racers who have been mixing it up on the top over the past years already.
Olympic champions Patrizia Kummer (SUI), Marion Kreiner (AUT), Julia Dujmovits (AUT) and Tomoka Takeuchi (JPN) always have been a threat to the podium as well as Russia's Alena Zavarzina and Ekaterina Tudegesheva who has been preparing for the new season together with SSWSC (Steamboatsprings Winter Sports Club) Snowboard World Cup team's coach Richard Pickl who led Ledecka to wcs gold last year.