SNOWBOARD Preview: Slopestyle season resumes in Kreischberg

Austria's Olympic and World Champion snowboarder Anna Gasser

The second of six Slopestyle events in the 2018-19 FIS World Cup is getting ready in Kreischberg (AUT), with competition for men and women.

The only event held so far was in Secret Garden (CHN) in late December, with Japan’s Takeru Otsuka taking the win over Niklas Mattson (SWE) and Vlad Kahdarin (RUS) in the men’s event, and Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) winning the women’s event, ahead of Reira Iwabuchi (JPN) and Lucile Lefevre (FRA).

The star of this week’s events could very well be home favorite Anna Gasser, who did not compete at Secret Garden. The 2018 Olympic gold medalist in Big Air, Gasser won the silver medal in Kreischberg in Slopestyle in the 2015 World Championships.

The last Kreischberg World Cup event was the season opener in 2017, won by Gasser over Sina Candrian (SUI) and Silje Nordendal (NOR). The men’s podium included Mons Roysland (NOR) as the winner, with Americans Ryan Stassel and Red Gerard as silver and bronze medalists.

Otsuka has been the man to beat in Big Air and Slopestyle so far this season, with medals in all four events and two wins. American Chris Corning is the only other double medalist for 2018-19, both in Big Air events.

Iwabuchi and Onitsuka have had the best performance among the women in Big Air and Slopestyle, going 1-2 twice in Big Air events and 2-1 at the Secret Garden Slopestyle opener. Gasser has medaled twice already this season in Big Air, winning in Beijing (24 November) and third in Modena (ITA) in November.

Look for results here.