The start of the 2021/22 FIS Snowboard Alpine World Cup season is just around the corner and with less than four weeks before the world’s best snowboard racers will once again go head-to-head to fight for World Cup points, we’ve decided to take a closer look at who to watch out for this upcoming campaign.
As in the previous seasons, when looking for favourites for the crystal globes as well as the Olympic medals in February, there is a handful of nations that year-in and year-out continue to deliver top-tier performances.
Starting on the women’s side it’s hard not to begin with Ramona Theresia Hofmeister (GER), as yet once again the 25-year-old rider will be entering the first event in Bannoye (RUS) as the reigning PGS and the overall parallel World Cup champion. Last season Hofmeister scored six World Cup podiums including three victories as well as the silver medal in PSL at the World Championships in Rogla (SLO). Also this year it’s fair to expect that Hofmeister will be one of the main favourites at World Cup as well as the pinnacle event of the season at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing (CHN).
Going further down the list, there is 18-year-old Sophia Nadyrshina (RUS), numer two on PGS, PSL as well as overall parallel World Cup ranking in 2020/21. With four spots on the World Cup podium this past campaign and a tremendous performance at the 2021 World Championships, where she became the youngest athlete in history of snowboard alpine to win the gold medal, the Russian young gun will be entering the new season hoping to push Hofmeister at every single race.
Another top dog in the women’s field is without a doubt ithe PSL specialist Julie Zogg (SUI). The 29-year-old from Walenstadt claimed her second consecutive PSL crystal globe last season, scoring four podium and winning the World Cup finals in Berchtesgaden (GER). While Zogg also delivered some satisfying results in PGS races, she finished in third place in the overall parallel standing and therefore it’s hard not to expect her to push her limits also in 2021/22.
Besides Hofmeister, Nadyrshina and Zogg, also keep an eye on Ester Ledecka (CZE), as one of the greatest snow-sports athlete in the history will be certainly looking to defend her Olympic title from PyeongChang. And while Ledecka will most likely spend most of her winter days racing at the alpine World Cup also this season, she’s definitely a favourite for the win at every race she enters.
Moving on to the men’s part of the field, we’ll keep things similar and start our list with the reining parallel overall World Cup winner Aaron March. The 35-year-old showed an incredible consistency last season and came with an impressive clutch performance to take everything there was up for grabs at the final event in Berchtesgaden. March made his eight season of World Cup competition one to remember, as the Italian veteran claimed a huge win for his career’s second PSL crystal globe, while also taking his first parallel overall globe.
Next on our list is Andreas Prommegger (AUT), another World Cup veteran, who will be competing in his 18th campaign in 2021/22. With solid performances in both PGS as well as PSL races last season Prommegger finished just behind March in the overall parallel World Cup ranking, while also claiming the silver medal in PSL at the World Championships in Rogla. We strongly believe that also this year the 41-year-old rider from Schwarzach will be a major threat both at World Cup as well as at the OWG.
Wrapping up our top-3 from last season is Dmitri Loginov (RUS). Despite being only 21-years-old Loginov has already competed in five full World Cup season, while scoring some impressive results on the way to become one of the fastest men on tour. In 50 World Cup appearances the Russian snowboarded claimed nine podiums, including four victories, with two of those wins coming in 2021. However, his career’s highlights came at the big stage at World Championships. First in Park City back in 2019, Loginov claimed two gold medals in PGS and PSL and with his two gold medals at the Junior World Snowboard Championships, Loginov became the only athlete in FIS Snowboard alpine history to simultaneously hold the double Junior World Championships and double world championships titles. Then last season he defended his PGS World Championships title in Rogla, while finishing with a bronze medal in PSL competition. With such an impressive record it’s hard not to see Loginov among the favourites for gold at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
Finally, let’s not forget about the legends of alpine snowboarding Benjamin Karl (AUT) and Roland Fischnaller (ITA). Both Karl and Fischnaller have a long list of World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Winter Games achievements and it would be unreasonable not to mention the veteran duo among those, who will be giving their best in 2021/22.