Olympic champion Jean Frederic Chapuis will be in action on home snow in Val Thorens ©Getty Images

Olympic champion Jean Frederic Chapuis will be hoping to make the perfect start to the defence of his International Ski Federation Ski Cross World Cup title in front of his own fans in Val Thorens tomorrow.

The 28-year-old Frenchman, who won gold at Sochi 2014, will be seeking to add a fourth overall World Cup title as the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic season begins.

Two races will be held in Val Thorens - with tomorrow's opener followed by a second event on Saturday (December 9).

Weather conditions have already prompted a calendar reschedule as the curtain-raiser was due to take place on Friday (September 8) but has now been moved forward 24 hours.

Both races will feature qualification and then the final rounds on the same day.

The competitions are also the first stops on this year's Cross Alps Tour, which crowns a winner based solely on the opening six legs of the season.

Chapuis, the 2013 world champion, won last season's Tour when the concept was held for the first time.

He can expect competition from Canada's reigning world champion Brady Leman and Sweden's 2014 World Cup winner Victor Oehling Norberg.

Marielle Thompson of Canada will be absent from the season opener ©Getty Images
Marielle Thompson of Canada will be absent from the season opener ©Getty Images

Filip Flisar, Slovenia's 2015 world champion and the 2012 World Cup winner, could also be a threat on the French course.

In the women's event, Canada's Olympic champion Marielle Thompson is absent through injury.

The 25-year-old, also the defending World Cup and Cross Alps Tour winner, is suffering with a knee problem.

She crashed during training in October with her hopes of competing at Pyeongchang 2018 in February in doubt.

Current world champion Sandra Naeslund of Sweden could capitalise on her absence after finishing second in the World Cup standings last term.

Former world champions Fanny Smith of Switzerland and Andrea Limbacher of Austria, as well as five-time World Cup winner Heidi Zacher of Germany, could also challenge.

After Val Thorens, the Cross Alps Tour will continue with legs in Arosa in Switzerland and Montafon in Austria, before two concluding events in Innichen in Italy.

The competitions make up half of the World Cup's 12 legs this season.

Winners of the Cross Alps Tour will scoop a cash prize of €5,000 (£4,400/$6,000).