From March 18th through 21st, 2010, the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup finals will take place in La Molina. The last competitions in snowboard cross (March 18th and 19th), halfpipe (March 20th) and parallel giant slalom (March 21st) will be staged. For the first time ever, the snowboarders will wrap up a long and eventful season on Spanish soil. This winter's finals are also the perfect test for the up-coming FIS Snowboard World Championships which will be hosted in La Molina in January 2011.
No wonder that more than 200 riders coming from 25 nations will enter the three last competitions of this winter; especially as some of them will end their career after this season's last competitions staged in the Catalonian winter resort. The most prominent of them are freshly minted Olympic parallel giant slalom champion Jasey Jay Anderson (CAN), 2010 Bronze medallist Mathieu Bozzetto (FRA) as well as third ranked athlete of the 2002 Winter Games Christopher Klug (USA), Heinz Inniger (SUI) and Daniel Biveson (SWE) - all of them race boarders who played a dominating role in the World Cup over the last years.
Despite the good bye parallel races of some riders, the focus is on two last World Cup title decisions which will take place in the very last race of the season. In the Parallel World Cup, Olympic Gold medallist Nicolien Sauerbreij (NED) is sitting in first with 4,800 points, 490 points ahead of Doris Guenther (AUT) who missed the small Crystal Globe last season in the very last race.
In addition, Maelle Ricker (CAN), who won Gold in the Olympic snowboard cross race and secured the discipline title last weekend with 4,760 points, is also intervening the Dutch-Austrian duel for the Overall World Cup title. However, Canada's hopeful has to produce the first facts on Friday.
In addition, the race for the men's Halfpipe World Cup title is still an open one. Since last weekend, Justin Lamoureux (CAN) is leading with 1,800 points. As the Finnish team won't enter the halfpipe competition it seems that 15-years-old Swiss rising star Patrick Burgener is his main rival with 1,419 points.
On the ladies' side, the battle is no longer an issue as Xuetong Cai (CHN, 3,040) has secured the Globe already as neither she nor her team mate Zhifeng Sun (2,805) won't start. All other ladies are too far behind.
Pierre Vaultier (FRA) has also clinched the Snowboard Cross title already as so has Benjamin Karl in the Parallel and Overall World Cup ranking and Stefan Gimpl (AUT) in the Big Air World Cup.
World Cup time schedule La Molina, Spain - All local times:
Thursday, March 18th: Qualifications Snowboard Cross M at 10:50 AM
Qualifications Snowboard Cross L at 2:10 PM
Friday, March 19th: Finals Snowboard Cross L + M at 12 PM
Saturday, March 20th: Qualifications Halfpipe M at 8:25 AM
Qualifications Halfpipe L at 11:45 AM
Finals Halfpipe L + M at 2:30 PM
Sunday, March 21st: Qualifications Parallel Giant Slalom L + M at 9 AM
Finals Parallel Giant Slalom L + M at 1 PM