Anna-Lena Forster denies Claudia Loesch seventh World Cup victory
German sit-skier defeats Paralympic champion on last day in Veysonnaz18 Jan 2018
Austria’s Claudia Loesch could not seal her seventh World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup win of the season after she was beaten by 22-year-old Anna-Lena Forster in the women’s slalom sitting on the last day of racing (18 January) in Veyzonnaz, Switzerland.
Competition resumed today after high winds led to cancellations on the previous two days.
It was the second World Cup victory this season for the German two-time Sochi 2014 silver medallist, who also won the slalom in Kuhtai, Austria. Paralympic champion Loesch, however, still leads the circuit.
“It was not easy so I am happy because of the result. It was very tough,” said Forster. “I think slalom is not Loesch’s best event so it was my opportunity to beat her.”
France’s Frederic Francois was the winner in the men’s equivalent. It was just the second World Cup victory of the 40-year-old’s career, having sealed his first earlier this season in Zagreb, Croatia. Poland’s Igor Sikorski ended second.
Despite being the fastest skier in the second run, the Netherlands’ three-time world champion Jeroen Kampschreur once again had to settle for bronze. The 18-year-old is still without a World Cup win this season.
The USA’s Jamie Stanton sprang a surprise in the men’s standing by defeating neutral athlete Aleksei Bugaev, who could not add a sixth triumph to his World Cup haul. The last time Stanton had won a World Cup race was in PyeongChang, South Korea, in March 2017.
“It is absolutely a dream, I skied well,” 23-year-old Stanton said. He knows he will need to maintain this level for at least another month and a half if he seeks to reach the Paralympic podium. “I am very much looking forward to PyeongChang and giving everything I got.”
Switzerland’s Thomas Pfyl finished third.
Marie Bochet skied to her ninth World Cup victory, again showing her overwhelming superiority in the women’s standing. If she stays in top form, France’s four-time Sochi 2014 gold medallist will most probably go for a clean sweep at March’s Winter Paralympics.
Italy’s three-time world champion Giacomo Bertagnolli and guide Fabrizio Casal achieved their second World Cup win of the season in the men’s vision impaired. Canadian world and Paralympic gold medallist Mac Marcoux, guided by Jack Leitch, sealed silver.
Spain’s Paralympic champion Jon Santacana and guide Miguel Galindo Garces ended third.
Slovakia’s five-time Paralympic gold medallist Henrieta Farkasova, guided by Natalia Subrtova, continued to dominate the women’s vision impaired, picking up her eighth victory of the season.
Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick and guide Jennifer Kehoe, and Australia’s Melissa Perrine, guided by Christian Geiger, completed the top-three.
The fifth World Cup will take place in Tignes, France, from 21-26 January.