Snowboard cross World Cup tour kicks off in Montafon
This week will bring the 2016-17 season's first stop of the snowboard cross World Cup tour in Montafon (AUT) where one individual and one team race are staged from December 15 to 18, 2016.
It's the fifth time that Montafon will host a FIS World Cup stop and the fourth time since 2012, 2013 and 2015 that the SBX season kicks off on the Seebliga on Hochjoch where a course purpose-built for heats of four and designed by Nick Roma of White Industries Ltd. will serve as playground for some thrilling head-to-head duels.
It's all set for the world's best who had met for a last form test at the Europa Cup event in Pitztal (AUT) two weeks ago.
And as Belle Brockhoff (AUS) and Lucas Eguibar (ESP) claimed back-to-back wins in a strong and deep field both will be the ones to watch out for in Montafon.
Schairer on fire?
In addition, a local hero serves as protagonist for one of the event's top story lines: Markus Schairer (AUT), the 2009 world champion, has secured podium finishes at all three individual races staged in the Silvretta Alps so far.
Besides winning the 2013 event, he came in second in 2012 and 2015, and he is for sure up for some more:
“Of course I would like to make it on the podium again. I'm feeling comfortable on my board right now. The course seems to be similar to the ones of the previous years which actually did suit my riding. If everything comes together, I can make it again.
But the teams from France, Australia and Canada are strong and so is Eguibar. But Austria has a strong squad, too. One of us eight could make it to the finals,” Schairer said in the lead-up to the World Cup opener.
The latest time schedule for the Montafon SBX races can be found online.
ORF (AUT) as well as sportschau.de will broadcast/stream the SBX races live.