A preview video and the lowdown on ten skiers to keep a eye out for at this season's ski World Cup.
With the start of the new ski season now just around the corner, watch the video above for a behind-the-scenes look at how some of the top teams have been preparing at the Hintertux Glacier in Austria.
The season opens at Sölden, Austria, on October 26 with the women's Giant Slalom event. Current GS and overall champion Tina Maze and 2013 GS runner up Anna Fenninger look likely pre-race favourites. In the men's event, it is hard to see past the USA's Ted Ligety, the reigning GS world champion has won here for the past two years and hasn't been off the podium since 2005.
Ones to watch
The Slovenian had an unbelievable 2013 campaign, amassing 2414 points. Her total was over double that of her closest rival and beat Herman Maier's previous record of 2000 points by some distance. She is one of only three women to have won in all five disciplines in the same season. Can she continue her dominance into the 2014 World Cup?
The USA's Lindsey Vonn is a hugely successful world cup skier and one of the most recognisable faces in the sport. She has four overall world cup titles to her name, as well as the downhill discipline every season since 2008 and four consecutive in the Super G from 2009 to 2012. Her 2013 season was hampered by illness and injury, including a serious knee injury sustained at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria.
The German skier had a good World Cup in 2013, finishing as runner up behind Tina Maze, even if it was by quite some distance. The standout result from her season was the victory in the slalom event at Levi in Finland. She also finished third overall in the downhill discipline. Riesch has one overall World Cup title to her name, beating close friend Lindsey Vonn to the win by just three points in 2011.
2013 was the most successful World Cup season so far for the young skier from Salzburg in Austria. She has been competing since 2006, with each year seeing her make another step up. In 2013 she finished in third place overall, as well as in second and third places in the Super G and Giant Slalom disciplines. 2013 also saw her post three of her career total of four event wins.
Another young skier seemingly on an upwards curve is German Viktoria Rebensburg. Something of a Giant Slalom specialist, she is a strong contender for the season opener in Sölden. Viktoria really announced herself on the scene by taking the GS gold medal in Vancouver four years ago. She finished in sixth overall last year, her best ever result. She also placed third in the Giant Slalom, having won the discipline in the previous two seasons.
It seems to have taken a serious injury to really kick-start Marcel Hirscher's career. After a few solid, if unspectacular, seasons the Austrian skier broke his ankle the week before the 2011 World Champioships. His comeback season in 2012 was by far his most prolific, seeing him take seven race victories, the overall World Cup title, as well as the Giant Slalom discipline. 2013 saw him retain his World Cup, win the Slalom discipline and add another six race wins to his name.
Aksel Lund Svindal
If the sequence is to be completed, Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal must win this year's World Cup. After finishing fourth overall in 2011, 2012 saw him take third and he improved to second in 2013, dominating both the downhill and Super G disciplines. Of course, he's no stranger to success in the event, having already won the overall title in 2007 and 2009.
Theodore Sharp Ligety hails from Salt Lake City in Utah and is a good bet for an early lead in this year's World Cup. He has been absolutely dominant in the Giant Slalom at Sölden over recent years and will hope to use this as a springboard to improve on his career-best third place overall in 2013. If he can continue his improvement in Super G and Slalom, Ted could be a very strong contender this year.
Manfred Mölgg is a Slalom and Giant Slalom specialist from the South Tyrol Region of Italy. If anyone is going to challenge Ligety at Sölden, it looks likely to be him. Mölgg's best season so far was 2008, when he won the Slalom discipline and finished third in the GS. However 2013 wasn't far behind, where his strength in the slalom events saw him finish seventh overall, including a good second place at Sölden.
Another exciting skier to watch this season is Erik Guay from Québec City in Canada. He specialises in the high-speeds of the Super G and Downhill disciplines. Amongst the silverware on display in his trophy cabinet are the 2010 Super G title and the Downhill gold medal from the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch.