Action-packed racing on Swiss high-speed course
This coming weekend will feature this season's sixth and seventh out of eight stops of the snowboard cross World Cup tour with Veysonnaz, Switzerland hosting a double event on the Piste de L'Ours which is well-known for its high-speed course.
It's the fifth time that the World Cup circuit returns to the ski resort in the Valais expecting some thrilling racing on a track which has already produced competitions to remember with starts for the holeshot, super fast and tight passing manoeuvres, wipe-outs and carnage-like crashes as well as home straight drafting and photo finishes including a tie for the win back in 2013.
It's simply an anyones's game which has seen seven different winners in the men's competition so far. And as all racers who are currently fighting for the World Cup title have been on the podium in Veysonnaz before, the race for the Crystal Globe couldn't be more fascinating.
2014 Olympic champion Pierre Vaultier (FRA), with 3,780 points the current World Cup leader, came out successfully at the inaugural race (2010) whilst also placing third two years later.
His strongest pursuer in the race for the title, 2014 Olympic silver medallist Nikolay Olyunin (RUS, 2,640) finished in second position last year, and Alessandro Haemmerle (AUT), who sits in third position of the ranking with 2,240 points rounded out the podium as third back in 2013.
Fourth and fifth ranked riders Alex Pullin (AUS, 1,745) and Lucas Eguibar (SPA, 1730) have both triumphed in Switzerland before; Chris Robanske (CAN, 1,608), currently sitting in seventh position of the World Cup ranking, has one third-place finish under his belt so far.
In the women's event, five out of this season's best six racers have earned at least one podium finish so far; only Belle Brockhoff (AUS, 2,300), currently fifth in the world, is lacking a top-3 result in Veysonnaz.
Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA, 2,720), who lost the World Cup lead last weekend to Michela Moioli (ITA, 3,200) due to an injury which forced her to sit out the 2018 Olympic test event in the Bokwang Phoenix Park, South Korea and is now ranked fourth should be able to catch up again as she is looking back on an impressive streak on the fast course.
In the last four races, she placed first once (2013) and finished in the runner-up position three times (2014, 2015, 2015).
World Cup leader Moioli won last year, while 2014 Olympic champion and current second in the World Cup ranking Eva Samkova (CZE, 3,160) rounded out the podium in Veysonnaz back in 2013; Olympic bronze medallist Chloe Trespeuch (FRA, 2,940), currently third in the world, placed third in both 2015 races.
And don't forget four-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis (USA, 2,250), a podium threat in all races she enters: she might be back 950 points of Moioli already, with only three more races to come, but she is the only one out of the top-6 who has claimed victory in Veysonnaz twice clinching both races back in 2012.