The snowboarders will contest two events, beginning Friday night with qualifying, the finals live on Eurosport on Saturday from 10pm and the second race on Sunday night – again live on Eurosport.
After last week’s shorter sprint course in Bansko, Australia’s Snowboard Cross athletes Belle Brockhoff, Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, Cam Bolton, Jarryd Hughes and Matt Thomas revert to a more traditional one-minute course length.
24-year-old Sochi Olympian Brockhoff is aiming for the coveted overall season leader’s Crystal Globe trophy, having won two of the three Ladies World Cup Snowboard Cross events this season (Montafon and Basko) and backs up her first career win almost a year ago in Spain.
“My first win (Baqueira Beret, Spain in March 2016) was a goal I’d been aiming for a while,” Brockhoff recalled. “I’ve always wanted to win races and be the best since I got into the sport.”
Of her two recent World Cup victories in Montafon and Bansko Belle is always looking to see where improvements can be made.
“Looking at footage of the races that I have won helps give me an indication of where I can improve still.”
For the upcoming Feldberg World Cup this Saturday, training is underway and includes assessing the course before arrival.
“We usually see some pictures of race course before we arrive, which gives us an idea. From there we have to figure out the course in just over an hour and do our best lap in time trials.”
“Every course can be more or less technical than others and always have different features to figure out, which challenges you,” she said.
“I’m excited for this season and really looking forward to the years ahead on the tour. I am happy with my progress and feel that I’m not near my potential yet. I have so much to learn and I’m excited to do so.”
Coach Ben Wordsworth says whilst the Feldberg course will be different to that which they saw last year, the snowboarders are ready to go.
“Belle is doing pretty well,” said coach Ben Wordsworth. “Having won her first-ever event last season, she came back this year really motivated. She wants that Globe.”
“Her equipment is good at the moment and she’s very focussed.”
2010 and 2014 Olympian and dual World Champion Alex Pullin, who narrowly missed the podium last week in Bansko in a tight finish, is currently in fifth on the World Standings and looking forward to the weekend.
So too is Cam Bolton who, according to Coach Wordsworth, “rode pretty well last week and it was unfortunate he went out before the final”.
Jarryd Hughes is consistently performing and sitting in 8th position in the overall FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup standings. He will be looking for strong results in Feldberg.
Matt Thomas is learning with each World Cup this season.
"The season so far has been challenging, in a positive way,” Thomas said. “The World Cup in Solitude felt as though I was riding really well. I was able to overtake in the quarters finals then made a mistake in the third last turn opening the line too much and dropping from first to sixth and being pushed up into the fencing.”
“I feel as though there was a real opportunity there.”
“Bansko was more challenging even though the training day and qualifying was felt similar to Solitude. The race day though didn't go to plan and I didn't perform as well I could, not fully clearing a feature in the course cost me a lot of speed and therefore, dropping back from being inside the top three for the first round.”
Going into Feldberg, Thomas’ goals are set.
“This week at Feldberg we've recapped. The goal this week is to focus on keeping it simple and have fun. Focusing on replicating the work in Solitude whilst learning from the mistakes will hopefully pull off two good results."
FIS Officials have said that conditions in Feldberg are good.
“Due to the fresh snow, sinking temperatures and a more stable weather forecasted than the ski cross community experienced last weekend in Bulgaria, conditions are looking favourable for the World Cup on the Seebuck face,” FIS officials stated.
“Course shapers have redesigned re-designed specific parts of the ski cross course from last week into a boarder cross track.”
The Feldberg World Cup qualifying begins at 8.30pm (AEDST) on Friday. Finals will be broadcast live this Saturday, Friday February 11 on Eurosport from 10pm. The second World Cup will again be broadcast live on Eurosport on Sunday evening at 10pm.