The new International Ski Federation (FIS) Freestyle Skiing Moguls World Cup season is due to begin in Ruka in Finland tomorrow with the first of nine stops across Asia, Europe and North America.
It will be the ninth consecutive year that the world’s best moguls skiers have descended on Ruka for the season-opening World Cup competition.
Among those to look out for on the women’s side of competition is France’s Perrine Laffont.
The 20-year-old will be striving to continue her excellent form from last season, which saw her win the 2018 Winter Olympic Games gold medal and also take the crystal globe for top spot in the overall moguls World Cup rankings.
Other potential contenders include the United States' Jaelin Kauf and Tess Johnson, Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Andi Naude, and Kazakhstan’s Yulia Galysheva.
Australia’s Britteny Cox, who finished second in the overall moguls World Cup rankings behind Laffont and ahead of Kauf, is also likely to put in a strong challenge.
Cox has an impressive history of results in Ruka, winning the last two competitions there.
On the men’s side, Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury will be looking to dominate yet another World Cup season.
In 2017-2018, he finished no lower than second in any competition, set a record run of consecutive wins by a men’s moguls skier in January, when he increased his tally to 13, and won the Olympic gold medal in Pyeongchang.
He also claimed both the overall moguls and freestyle crystal globes for the seventh-straight season to pass the US's Hannah Kearney for most moguls wins and inch closer to Switzerland's Conny Kissling’s record of 10 freestyle overall titles.
Kingsbury has an impressive record in Ruka, winning six out of eight contests held there since the event made its return to the moguls World Cup tour back in 2010.
Among those attempting to thwart his dominance will be Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Reikherd, last season’s moguls World Cup runner-up.
Australia’s Matt Graham, the Olympic silver medallist, and Japan’s reigning double world champion Ikuma Horishima, the only man who was able to beat Kingsbury last season, are also expected to be in contention for top honours on the "Battery Run" course.
Tomorrow evening's finals will follow qualification in both the men's and women's events.