Sesto-San Candido (ITA). The penultimate stage of the 1999/2000 NOKIA Snowboard FIS World Cup will take place at Sesto-San Candido, Italy, this coming weekend, featuring Parallel Slalom, Halfpipe and Snowboard Cross.

The weekend will be kicked off with the Parallel Slalom on Friday, 10 March. In the mens’ standings NOKIA World Team rider Matthieu Bozzetto from France is already safe for the World Cup win. The defending Parallel Slalom World Cup champion however does not lay back and relax: “I really want to go fast in the final races,” he said, “and I think everyone is doing like that so it’s going to be very exciting duels.”

His teammate Nicolas Huet who is currently in second looks pretty safe to keep that position but with Austria’s Felix Stadler as well as the Swedes Stephen Copp and Richard Richardsson there are still some other contenders for second and third place.

Isabelle Blanc from France still keeps the lead in the women’s ranking but she missed to make it to the podium in the last two races and at the same time NOKIA rider Manuela Riegler, Austria, made up some pooints. Karine Ruby from France is in third but and could be another contender for second place.

The Halfpipe will be held on Saturday, 11 March. Thomas Johansson from Sweden had crashed in last week’s training right before the final and will not compete in the final two Halfpipe events. However, he is safe for the World Cup title since the only one who could have caught him was his teammate Fredrik Sterner but he also got insured last weekend and will miss the last two competitions.

Apart from Finland’s Pasi Voho who is in third position so far also US riders Tommy Czeschin and Zach Horwitz as well as Magnus Sterner from Sweden are contenders for second and third place still.

NOKIA riders Sabine Wehr-Hasler from Germany and Tricia Byrnes, USA, are first and second ranked in the womens’ standings, chased by Anna Hellman from Sweden. The title will be among those three.

The Snowboard Cross is pretty open between the top six ranked riders in both the mens’ and the womens’ standings. Pontus Stahlkloo from Sweden is leading the men’s ranking ahead of “Aussi” Zeke Steggall and NOKIA rider Guillaume Nantermod from Switzerland.

German Sandra Farmand just claimed the lead last weekend with her second win this season. Carmen Ranigler from Italy is still in second at just 30 points back. French rider Marie Laissus dropped back to third after she could not have started in Park City last week further to a training injury.

The snow situation of the Sesto-San Candido region could be a little better but the competition slopes should be fine however.