Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin will try to dominate again while Lindsey Vonn chases the all-time World Cup wins record.

The 2018-19 Alpine Skiing season kicks off on Saturday in Soelden, Austria, with the women's giant slalom, followed by the men's event on Sunday..

There are two stops in the United States – Killington and Beaver Creek – along with some of the ‘classic’ European races, such as Kitzbuehel, Wengen and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The eastern European resorts of Rosa Khutor, home to the alpine skiing events at Sochi 2014, Spindleruv Mlyn (Czech Republic) and Bansko (Bulgaria) will also be part of the FIS schedule.

Are, Sweden will host February’s World Championships with the season ending the following month at the World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra.

King Marcel

After finally clinching his first two Olympic golds at PyeongChang 2018, record seven-time overall World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher shows no sign of giving up his crown.

The Austrian star, who recently became a husband and father, will likely battle it out again for the title with Henrik Kristoffersen.

The 24-year-old Norwegian was runner-up in two of the last three seasons, but beat Hirscher to claim the World Cup slalom series in 2016.

Other potential contenders are France's versatile Alexis Pinturault and two 'Attacking Vikings' from Norway - Olympic champions Kjetil Jansrud and Aksel Lund Svindal.

But it will be a big surprise if anyone manages to dethrone Hirscher who told Olympic Channel that he's as hungry as ever.

Marcel Hirscher photographed with his Olympic medals and World Cup Overall Crystal Globe in March
Marcel Hirscher photographed with his Olympic medals and World Cup Overall Crystal Globe in MarchMarcel Hirscher photographed with his Olympic medals and World Cup Overall Crystal Globe in March

If you once think to yourself that what you have reached now is your personal best, it'll be the first day where you don't get better anymore." - Marcel Hirscher talking to Olympic Channel.

The prodigy

At just 23, Mikaela Shiffrin is already 10th on the World Cup all-time win list with 43 victories to her name.

Last season, the double Olympic gold medallist confirmed her dominance in slalom (nine wins) and claimed her first downhill victory in Lake Louise.

High winds meant she had to abandon her attempt to win five medals in Korea, but she did take giant slalom gold and combined silver.

Mikaela Shiffrin takes lessons from PyeongChang experience

Mikaela Shiffrin takes lessons from PyeongChang experience

While Shiffrin is the overwhelming favourite to win a third straight overall title, 2010 Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg defends the Crystal Globe in giant slalom.

Two-time PyeongChang silver medallist Ragnhild Mowinckel and Lara Gut will be dangerous rivals.

Chasing history

This will be Lindsey Vonn's last season and she wants to end her career in style.

The 2010 Olympic downhill champion is just four World Cup wins shy of Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86.

And the 34-year-old American has not given up on her dream of taking on the men at her beloved Lake Louise.

"I still am going to work hard to make both possible", she said in a retirement letter to Sports Illustrated.

Vonn will skip Soelden but, after winning five races last season, she has around 20 events in Super G and downhill to write her name in the history books.

One opponent she will not have to face early this season is Italy's Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia fractured her ankle in training earlier this month.

Goggia is expected to be out of action until January.

Double trouble again?

Ester Ledecka turned out to be the sensation of PyeongChang 2018.

The Czech was expected to challenge for gold in the snowboard parallel giant slalom, but nobody predicted her success in alpine skiing's Super G.

Ledecka then completed victory on her snowboard to become the first woman to take two gold medals in two different sports at a single Winter Games.

The 23-year-old will aim for a repeat at the next World Championships, but there is a partial clash between the skiing in Are, Sweden (5-17 February) and the snowboarding in Utah, USA (1-10 February).

In Prague, Ledecka recently said, "I would love to race at both events, but that’s all I can tell you right now."

She will make her 2018-2019 ski debut at Lake Louise, where she recorded her only World Cup top-10 finish to date, at the end of November.

New blood

There's also a bunch of new young skiers aiming to rise through the ranks this season.

And remember these two names in particular: River Radamus and Marco Odermatt.

The former claimed an unprecedented hat-trick in the sport, winning gold in Super G, Giant Slalom and the combined event at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer.

The Colorado-born skier turns 21 in February having joined the United States B Team after clinching the overall NorAm title this year.

River Radamus with Lindsey Vonn at Lillehammer 2016
River Radamus with Lindsey Vonn at Lillehammer 2016

Odermatt was the undisputed star at the 2018 FIS Junior World Championships in Davos with five gold medals including four individual triumphs.

He beat Radamus in the Super G and the pair could be rivals for years to come.

Odermatt beats Radamus to complete World Junior double

Odermatt beats Radamus to complete World Junior double

The Swiss skiing prodigy joined the senior World Cup in 2016 and last season recorded three top-15 finishes.

Now he's hoping to break into the top 10 and perhaps beyond.

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