Seventeen-year-old Kiwi skiing sensation Alice Robinson has high hopes heading into her season finale at the FIS World Cup Finals tonight in Andorra.
The Queenstown skier was invited to the prestigious event following her stunning success winning giant slalom gold at the junior world championships in Italy last month.
It followed a 17th place finish in GS at the senior world championships in Sweden, where she posted the fastest time in the second run.
That result has the alpine skiing world taking notice and put New Zealand ski racing on the map for the first time since Olympic silver medallist Annelise Coberger and Claudia Riegler excelled in the 1990s.
It's been a whirlwind few months for Robinson, who represented New Zealand at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a 16 year old.
The top 25 skiers in each discipline line up at the World Cup Finals, compared with more than 70 in regular World Cup races.
Robinson finished 16th in a World Cup giant slalom race in the Czech Republic last weekend after posting the ninth-quickest time in the first run, and has high hopes in Andorra.
"My goal for this race would be top 15, or top 10. I have been skiing really well and I had one really good run at the World Cup, so if I just do the same thing, hopefully it will put me there," Robinson said.
Remarkably, Robinson is the youngest in the field by four years. Most racers are in their mid to late 20s or early 30s. American World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin is likely to compete for the title with Czech Petra Vlhova, who won gold at the world championships.
Tonight's race will have a field of about 20 because several skiers have been ruled out through injury.
Robinson will be last down the first run, and she's relishing the opportunity to again test herself against the sport's stars.
"In normal World Cup races, I start in the 30s and 40s, but with fewer competitors, the conditions on the slopes will be good for everyone." Robinson said.
She's confident because in some ways, there isn't the same pressure as in a normal World Cup race, where only the top 30 skiers after the first run get a second attempt.
"For me, it's about having the confidence to ski like I do in training in the race. There isn't the extra stress of having to make the top 30, so hopefully I can get a good result."
For Robinson, who will head home to Queenstown after four months on the road next week to resume her schooling, her results have resulted in additional attention in ski-mad Europe.
"Yeah, definitely, ski racing is so big in Europe and I have been talking to a lot of people and getting more comment, which is nice." Robinson said.
While giant slalom is where it's at for Robinson at the moment, and the plan is to race the full World Cup season the next Northern Hemisphere winter, the 17 year old will also look to compete in more super-G races after a stunning performance during the week in Italy.
She won silver in the Europa Cup Finals Super G, starting from 31st and finishing just 0.12s behind Italian winner Roberta Melesi.
"That was a real shock," Robinson said." I think I might have to do a bit more of that now."