Snowboard Cross World Cup tour finally returns to Germany
More than ten years since the last stop of the snowboard cross World Cup tour took place in Germany, the world-wide contest series is finally coming back to the most populous member state in the European Union. From January 22nd – 24th, 2016, this season's second and third individual race will take place at Feldberg. On Seebuck, right in the heart of the Black Forest, a long time of waiting since Berchtesgaden (2003 and 2004) is coming to an end, however, not as expected.
Different than originally planned, the course length for the double event had to be cut down due to the unseasonal snow conditions.
Nevertheless, with last Monday's positive snow control given, both races are safe and will be held on a shortened course, therefore not only marking the first for Feldberg but also an unexpected first for the so-called sprint sbx event which FIS had on the agenda for the next season.
“We are glad that – thanks to the dedication and effort of the Local Organising Committee, Snowboard Germany and our technical crew – we were able to secure the two races in Germany; especially as it took quite a long time to get back here.
In addition, those first sprint World Cup races might be a good future alternative in times of unseasonal snow conditions,” said FIS Race Director Uwe Beier before adding:
“The sprint event might be held on a shorter course, but the course itself is as technically demanding and large-dimensioned as any other high-level World Cup course. Therefore, the sprint event could also be interesting for some new World Cup venues we might not have had on the map, yet.”
Germany's team leader Konstantin Schad is pumped to compete on home soil. On behalf of his teammates and the rest of the international field, the two-time Olympian stated:
“I'm looking forward to the World Cup as it's the first time I will be able to compete on home soil. In addition, the cancellation of the Squaw Valley races also shows that you cannot take the events for granted.
It's not easy to host snowboard cross events, and it's good to see that we set a good example here in Germany hosting both races despite the tense snow situation. It's important for our tour.”
With a top-10 finish from Montafon, Austria to his belt, Schad also lwants to up the ante but has to face some strong competition; especially from Team Austria which dominated the season's opener last month with Alessandro Haemmerle and Markus Schairer celebrating a 1-2 punch.
But due to the shortened course and the lack of possibilities for passing manoeuvres those riders who have had some great qualification results in the past should also be considered amongst the aspirants for a win such as Norway's Stian Sivertzen, Olympic champion Pierre Vaultier (FRA) and two-time world champion Alex Pullin (AUS).
In the women's event, Olympic champion Eva Samkova (CZE), four-time world champion Lindsey Jacobellis (USA), World Cup tour leader Nelly Moenne Loccoz (FRA) and Italy's Michela Moioli are the main favourites for the win again.