A week after the season kick-off in Dubai, the World Para Snowboard World Cup returns with Landgraaf, Netherlands, hosting the Dutch stars against PyeongChang 2018 medallists making their season debut.
The two-day banked slalom competition begins on Wednesday (14 November) with 32 athletes from 17 countries.
Finland’s Matti Suur-Hamari in the men’s SB-LL2 class, France’s Cecile Hernandez in the women’s SB-LL1 and Spain’s Astrid Fina in the women’s SB-LL2 are the Paralympic medallists competing for the first time in this season’s World Cup.
Fina will face strong competition in her class with three Dutch riders fresh from the Dubai World Cup; Renske van Beek, Anne Garttener and two-time Paralympic medallist Lisa Bunschoten.
Although the Netherlands is an almost completely flat land and its highest point is around 320m above sea level, the country has managed to produce some of the most successful Para snowboarders on the circuit.
“Even if we don’t have mountains we love snow,” Van Beek said. “We have a great team vibe and two really nice coaches too.”
“We really like snowboard. We always give everything we can,” Bunschoten added. “When we go to the mountains we really enjoy it because we’re not used to it.”
The snowboarders had a chance to warm up for the World Cup on Tuesday with the Landgraaf Europa Cup, where the Dutch topping the medal standings.
Chris Vos, who took two gold in Dubai, won the men’s SB-LL1 while Bunschoten finished first in the women’s SB-LL2.
Suur-Hamari did not disappoint in his first official event taking gold in the men’s SB-LL2. Another winner from Dubai, Austria’s Patrick Mayrhofer took gold in the men’s SB-UL.
Hernandez won the women’s SB-LL1 while the victory in the women’s SB-UL class went to China’s Qiaorong Pang.
Live results from the Landgraaf World Cup are available on World Para Snowboard’s website.