Thrilling final battle for SBX World Cup title

23 March 2017 16:06
The start section in Veysonnaz leads to some high speed racing
The start section in Veysonnaz leads to some high speed racing -

After five stops and the world championships events in the books, the world's best snowboard cross athletes have traveled to Switzerland for one last and final round of SBX racing.

From March 24 to 26, 2017, Veysonnaz is set to host not only the ultimate boarderX race of the 2016-17 season (Saturday, 1:30 PM CET) but also the last Team SBX event (Sunday, 12 PM CET). And as this is the third of the winter Sunday will mark the first time ever a World Cup trophy will be handed out for the fastest duo on tour.

But before it's time for another chapter in the history books of the Snowboard World Cup, all eyes are on the individual race where several athletes are hoping to top their season with the precious World Cup title.

In the men's event, the road to her career's first Crystal Globe might have gotten easier for 2014 Olympic champion as Eva Samkova's main rival in the title race Belle Brockhoff (AUS) has been sidelined from action due to a ACL injury sustained during a training run at the Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships last week.

However, the Czech powerhouse who has collected a total of 4,370 points so far has to hold Italy's Michela Moioli (3,890) covered who has triumphed in Veysonnaz back in 2015 and 2016 and seems to have the right shape to nail the tree-peat.

Over in the men's event, things are even more exciting as current World Cup leader Omar Visintin (ITA; 3,470), whose worst results this season was a ninth rank at the world champs, feels the probably strongest athlete out there breathing down his neck.

2014 Olympic champion and 2017 world champion Pierre Vaultier is only 20 points behind (3,450) and has the advantage of the momentum of two consecutive wins to his side.

And his glorious race on the Veysonnaz course last year is still unforgotten when the father of one pulled out the gate some one to two seconds behind his five rivals on purpose to deliver one of the greatest comeback races in history as Vaultier capitalised on the drafting finally finishing second behind of Canada's Baptiste Brochu.

However, with the title race as close as it could get, it's doubtable if the French champion is up for such a risky tactic once again.

Especially as Alessandro Haemmerle hasn't given up yet and is still hoping to wrap up the season with a title win. However, the Austrian is already a little bit behind with a total of 3,114.60.

In addition, two time world champion Alex Pullin (AUS; 2,790) and Hagen Kearney (USA; 2,580) are also still within reach dreaming of making the impossible possible.

In the Team SBX standings, things are currently looking good for FRA1 which is leading with 1,800 points and will most likely feature the first ever Team SBX world champs Nelly Moenne Loccoz and Chloe Trespeuch this weekend.

However, USA1 (1,500) and ITA1 (1,400) are not far behind while FRA2 (1,100) and CAN1 (850) have only theoretical chances left.

Over in the men's ranking it's ITA1 sitting on a comfortable lead with 1,800 points while ESP1 (1,220) and AUT2 (1,160) are the strongest pursuers.