Creme de la Creme of Slopestyle’s Elite at the FIS Freeski World Cup Stubai

Last updated on 02.11.2021

Slopestyle’s World Cup opener at Stubai Glacier from November 17 to 20, 2021 marks the start of the Olympic season

The best freeskiers in the world showing off spectacular ski action in one of the top snowparks in Europe can mean only one thing – Stubai is opening its doors to slopestylers for the World Cup opener once again. From the 17th to 20th of November, 2021, the Snowpark Stubai Zoo will host the FIS Freeski World Cup for the fifth time, featuring starters from over 20 nations. The slopestyle event marks the beginning of the Olympic season and is therefore an especially important highlight in the World Cup calendar. Among the top athletes is a strong Austrian team which doesn’t want to miss out on the chance for success on home soil. The exciting World Cup finals will again be broadcast live on ORF.

The start of this year’s World Cup winter promises to be extremely exciting. The FIS Freeski World Cup Stubai kicks off the slopestyle season during an Olympic winter. For many athletes it’s also an opportunity to secure a ticket to Beijing 2022.

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For the fifth time in a row the Snowpark Stubai Zoo on the Stubai Glacier is stop of an official FIS Freeski World Cup event. © Andreas Vigl

The event’s success over the last few years and the popularity of Snowpark Stubai Zoo among the athletes once again guarantees a first-class international starting field. Starting October 25, some of the world’s best athletes are already romping about on the glacier in order to ensure that they’re optimally prepared for this important opening stop. The Stubai Prime Park Sessions, which will take place starting from the 20th of October, offer the perfect conditions for finishing touches.

Host team wants to score on home soil

At their “home game,” the best male and female freeskiers from Austria will be competing for the last tickets to the Olympic Games in Beijing next February, in addition to important World Cup points.

The Austrian men’s team, including Lukas Müllauer from Salzburg, Samuel Baumgartner from Upper Austria, Julius Forer from Vorarlberg, the Styrian Luis Resch, and the Tyroleans Hannes Rudigier and David Wolf, naturally want to show off their top form at their home World Cup. Rounding out the Austrian men’s squad are the two young talents Daniel Bacher and Matej Svancer, who narrowly failed to make it to the final with 16th place at his first World Cup appearance last year on the Stubai Glacier. For Bacher, the local hero born and bred in Stubaital, it’s especially significant to participate in a World Cup in what’s essentially his living room. Having ranked 20th at his World Cup debut there a year ago, he’s already proven that he has a lot in him.

Local hero Daniel Bacher wants to give his best at the World Cup on the Stubai Glacier. © Sina Filipowski

The women’s competition also offers lots of excitement from an Austrian point of view, as the two Tyroleans Lara Wolf (Paznauntal) and local heroine Laura Wallner won’t miss the chance to reach into their bag of tricks and fly the flag for their home country. Both made it into the top 20 at their home World Cup last year, a showing they’ll be looking exceed this year.

Laura Wallner from the Stubai Valley wants to score for Austria. © Sina Filipowski

International elite at the starting blocks

Of course, the big names in the scene won’t miss out on the world cup kick-off in Tyrol during an Olympic winter, as there are still a few Olympic tickets up for grabs. Those who made it on the Stubai podium in 2020 – last year’s winner Andri Ragettli from Switzerland (World Champion Slopestyle 2021 and 2-time X-Games winner), the two Norwegians Christian Nummedal (Big-Air World Cup Overall winner 2018) and Ferdinand Dahl (Silver 2021 and Bronze 2019 X-Games in Slopestyle) – are already registered, along with the Norwegian’s teammate Birk Ruud (Big-Air World Cup Overall winner 2020).

Andri Ragettli from Switzerland has to defend his title from last year against a strong field of participants. © Tom Bause

Also featuring on the provisional starting lineup is 2018’s winner Henrik Harlaut (8-time X-Games winner) from Sweden, and his compatriots Jesper Tjader (World Cup Slopestyle Overall winner 2014) and Oliwer Magnusson (World Champion Big Air 2021). This top rider lineup guarantees an exciting fight for the podium. However, the overseas competition is also interesting, as first entries from top riders from the USA have also been submitted; this includes Alex Hall, 3-time X-Games winner, Nick Goepper, Olympic runner-up 2018, 4-time X-Games winner, and Colby Stevenson, X-Games winner Slopestyle 2020.

The same applies to the women’s competition: in 2020, it was France’s Tess Ledeux (multiple World Champion and X-Games winner) who grabbed a hold of victory in an extremely exciting competition. She’ll be starting at Stubai Glacier, along with the then runner-up, Johanne Killi (X-Games winner Slopestyle 2017) from Norway. Additionally, the young exceptional talents Ailing Eileen Gu from China (third-place Stubai 2020, dominated 2021 World Championships and X-Games) and Kelly Sildaru (5-time X-Games winner, World Champion Halfpipe 2019, Stubai World Cup winner 2018) from Estonia will prove their skills again on the Stubai Glacier.

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French Tess Ledeux could win last years edition of the Freeski World Cup of the women on the Stubai Glacier. © Andreas Vigl

There could be another extremely close fight for jury points this year thanks to the nomination of additional top athletes; among others, the German Alia Delia Eichinger, as well as the American Caroline Claire who placed third in 2017, will start. They’ll have to deal with an especially strong women’s showing from Switzerland, as Mathilde Gremaud (Olympic runner-up 2018 and 3-time X-Games winner), as well as her compatriots Giulia Tanno (Big-Air World Cup Overall winner 2020) and Olympic winner and X-Games winner 2018, Sarah Höfflin, should be high in the ranks for potential top riders.

Exciting battles for the season’s first titles

Freeski action at its best is on the agenda again from November 17 to 20 at the legendary Snowpark Stubai Zoo at Stubai Glacier, to the delight of organizers and athletes alike. At this stop, part of an extraordinary winter season, the world’s freeski elite will gather at Gaiskarferner for the fifth time to collect the first important points for the World Cup ranking on the pro-line. Sitting at over 3,000 meters, the glacier offers participants the perfect setup around a unique snow park from the very beginning of the season.

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Only with the best tricks on the kickers and rails of the Stubai Zoo athletes will win the World Cup Stubai. © Tom Bause

Preliminary PROGRAM FIS FREESKI WORL CUP STUBAI 2021*
Wed., 11/17 Training Women & Men
Thurs., 11/18 Training Women & Men
Fri., 11/19 Qualifications Women & Men
Sat., 11/20 Final Women & Men | LIVE on ORF1 from 11:15 am

*Program subject to change