After the first contests of the 2010 LG Snowboard FIS World Cup have been held in the halfpipe and snowboard cross discipline so far, it's now time for the alpine snowboarders to open their season on Friday, October 9th - once again in a by now well-liked tradition. Once again, SnowWorld Landgraaf, located close to the Dutch-German boarder, hosts the sole indoor parallel slalom of the season; also the only World Cup stop in the Netherlands.
The carving specialists benefit from the assured snow conditions offered by the 250 metres-long indoor slope for their first race of the winter for the fifth consecutive year. In total, it's the seventh time the parallel snowboard elite meets at SnowWorld for their enthralling head-to-head duels. No wonder, that this calendar highlight arouses some media interest. Besides Eurosport 2 and RAI Italia also Orange (FRA) will broadcast the knock-out finals live from 5 PM on. In addition, Dutch TV station RTL will air the finals at a later time in a re-live format.
After a long summer break, a strong starter field will enter the course in order to test their fitness and also battle for the first World Cup points in the race for the Crystal Globes. Especially last year's Overall World Cup winners Doris Guenther and Siegfried Grabner from Austria know how important every single point can be. While alpine snowboarding veteran Grabner clinched not only the Overall but also the Parallel World Cup on the last competition day of the season, his fellow countrywoman Guenther lost the small discipline globe to Amelie Kober in one of the winter's last duels.
Some riders with very good memories of Landgraaf
Germany's hopeful is one of the top favourites for the season's first victory in a parallel discipline; not only due to her incredible comeback end of last season but also because of her so far good results at SnowWorld. Even though the 21-years-old had missed the finals last year and thus the podium spots which were taken by Doris Guenther and Heidi Neururer from Austria as well as local Nicolien Sauerbreij (NED), the 2006 Olympic runner-up celebrated her first two out of her seven World Cup triumphs in Landgraaf (2006 and 2007).
Similar to Kober, Adam Smith feels comfortable indoor, too. The US boy was able to secure four podium spots so far, three times in Landgraaf including his only World Cup win so far in 2005. In 2006 he finished third while last year, he ended up second in the Netherlands. Siegfried Grabner also calls a full set of Landgraaf' medals his own. But other than Smith, the owner of a snowboard brand was able to win twice. However, last season, the 34-years-old went home empty-handed after finishing fifth behind of his team mate and reigning PSL World Champion Benjamin Karl (AUT), Adam Smith, Patrick Bussler (GER) and Rok Flander (SLO).