A jam-packed January keeps rolling right along for the FIS Snowboard Alpine World Cup tour this weekend, where the second of four new venues to join the alpine SB World Cup in 2019/20 is set for its starring turn, as parallel slalom and parallel slalom team competitions are set to hit this Piancavallo (ITA) this Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Located some 60kms north of Venice, Piancavallo last season proved itself a host worthy of top-level alpine snowboard competition when the Italian national championships came to the resort’s picturesque slopes last season. This weekend, the very best riders from the world over will get their first taste of World Cup competition at the venue.
Hofmeister looks to make it seven-straight podiums
With just two PSL competitions in the books so far this season so far this season it’s the Swiss and the German women leading the charge thus far, with reigning PSL world champion and crystal globe winning atop the rankings, followed closely by Ramona Theresia Hofmeister - the PGS and parallel overall standings leader.
Hofmeister was the winner at the most recent PSL World Cup race 10 days ago in Bad Gastien (AUT), while Zogg took a third-place there at the longest-running competition in World Cup snowboarding, adding to her winning performance at the season-opener in Bannoye. While Hofmeister has established herself as this season’s dominant performer with five victories and a runner-up in seven events thus far, Zogg’s parallel excellence is never to be underestimated.
Just behind Hofmeister on the PSL standings is another Swiss rider in Ladina Jenny, while Hofmeister’s teammate Selina Joerg holds down the top spot, with Austria’s Daniella Ulbing rounding out the women’s top five. While Zogg and Hofmeister remain the favourites, any of the top five could take the maiden Piancavallo win this weekend.
Luckily for all of the above-mentioned women, the name Ester Ledecka (CZE) will not be one they’ll need to concern themselves in Piancavallo, as the three-time reigning parallel overall crystal globe winner has returned to the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup after registering a win and a runner-up result in what were her first two FIS Snowboard competitions of the season last week.
Host Italians come into Piancavallo as dominant force
Over on the men’s side of competition the host Italian team rides into Piancavallo on an incredible high, with veteran Roland Fischnaller leading a list of names that sees fully five of the top six spots on the parallel overall standings occupied by Italian riders. The Italian men have claimed nine out of a possible 18 podium spots across all men’s parallel World Cup competitions in 2019/20 - including four out of a possible six PSL podiums - and the likelihood of more top-three results for the host squad on home soil in Piancavallo is high.
Italy’s Daniele Bagozza and Maurizio Bormolini are fresh off a 1-2 PSL performance in Bad Gastien, while Aaron March and Bormolini started the PSL season off by taking second and third, respectively, in Bannoye (RUS) back in December. With his two podiums Bormolini holds top spot on the PSL rankings, followed closely by Bagozza in second, while Fischnaller in fifth and March sixth lurk well within striking distance. Any way you slice it, it’s shaping up to be an exciting weekend for the Italian fans in Piancavallo.
Tied with Bagozza in second overall is Austrian veteran Andreas Promegger, who won the season-opener in Bannoye. He, along with reigning PSL crystal globe winner Stefan Baumeister (GER), reigning parallel overall globe winner Andrey Sobolev, represent some of the best international challengers to spoil the Italian party this weekend.
Meanwhile, in parallel team action, the lone competition we’ve seen so far in 2019/20 saw Hofmeister once again standing on top of the podium, as she and her teammate Baumeister were able to best Prommegger and Claudia Reigler of the Austrian team, and the Swiss tandem of Zogg and Dario Caviezel. Italy’s Nadia Ochner and Bagozza finished fourth in that competition, and the duo represents yet another hope for an Italian podium this weekend.
The individual FIS Snowboard Parallel Slalom World Cup Piancavallo competition is set to get underway with qualification runs at 10:00CET on Saturday, with finals following at 14:00. Sunday’s team event, meanwhile, will begin with prefinals at 13:00, followed immediately by finals at 14:00.
Live-stream on Eurosport player (Europe), ORF Sport + (Austria), BNT 3 (Bulgaria), RAI Sport (Italy), Polsat Sport News (Poland), NBC Sport Gold (USA).
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