February 9 - About 40 snowboarders are heading to La Molina in Spain for the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing (IPCAS) Snowboard World Cup Finals this week before the sport makes it Paralympic debut at Sochi 2014.
The competition, which is due to get underway tomorrow, is the last event on the calendar before the Games in Russia and will see the world's top riders in action.
Those taking to the slopes will include the Netherlands' Bibian Mentel-Spee, who has dominated the World Cup circuit this season by winning all five of the races she entered against rival Amy Purdy of the United States, who currently sits in second in the World Cup standings.
The will be joined in the Spanish ski resort by Mentel-Spee's compatriot Lisa Bunschoten and Purdy's teammates Heidi Jo Duce and Nicole Roundy, recently selected to represent the US at Sochi 2014.
In the men's lower-limb impairment races, the US' Michael Shea and world champion Evan Strong currently share the overall world lead, but Shea leads the World Cup rankings following four wins so far.
Keith Gabel - the final American male to make up the trio referred to as "the three amigos" - will travel to La Molina with them, as well as Matti Suur-Hamari of Finland, Belgium's Denis Colle and Canada's John Leslie.
Meanwhile, Marc Dervaes of the US will be looking to cement his World Cup number one status in the men's upper limb-impairment races as the competition runs until Wednesday (February 12).
Snowboarding will make its Paralympic Winter Games debut in Sochi, with the snowboard-cross discipline for athletes with lower limb impairments due to take place on March 14.
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November 2013: Shea and Mentel follow-up Europa Cup wins by taking World Cup titles in Landgraaf
November 2013: Shea and Mentel warm-up for IPC snowboard World Cup with Europa Cup wins
March 2013: Mentel and Strong set the standard for Sochi 2014 at Paralympic snowboard test event