Austrians win three from six at Europa Cup finals

Salcher, Rabl and Loesch all top the podium in Sella Nevea, Italy. 17 Feb 2015 By IPC

Austrian skiers had a day to remember on Tuesday (17 February), the second day of the IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup Finals in Sella Nevea, Italy, winning three out of six giant slalom races.

Markus Salcher (1:39.98), a winner of two Sochi 2014 Paralympic titles, showed he is great form ahead of the upcoming World Championships in Canada with victory in the men’s standing.

Despite posting the fastest second run, France’s Romain Riboud (1:40.65) had to settle for second whilst Austria’s CB Schneider (1:41.85) was third.

Roman Rabl (1:42.59) secured the win in the men’s sitting, with the Austrian turning the tables on second place finisher Frederic Francois (1:43.55) of France who had won Monday’s slalom. Third was Poland’s Igor Sikorski (1:44.35).

Austria’s third win of the day was claimed by Claudia Loesch (1:54.17) in the women’s sitting, her second win in successive days.

Joining Loesch with two wins from two races on Tuesday was France’s Marie Bochet (1:41.94) in the women’s standing. The French five-time world champion eased home ahead of Switzerland’s Bigna Schmidt (2:01.06) and Spain’s Ursula Pueyo Marimon (2:05.92).

On home snow, Italy’s Giacomo Bertagnolli and guide Achille Crispino (1:46.31) won the men’s visually impaired with two fastest runs. Poland’s Maciej Krezel and guide Anna Ogarzynska (1:48.27), winners of Monday’s slalom, were second with Croatia’s Damir Mizdrak and guide Luka Debeljak (2:03.87) third.

In her first race since the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, where she won Great Britain’s first ever alpine skiing gold medal, Kelly Gallagher (1:53.77) was victorious in the women’s visually impaired, despite racing without her usual guide. Due to an injury to Charlotte Evans, Gallagher teamed up with coach Ross Green but was still fastest in both runs.

Belgium’s Eleonor Sana and guide Chloe Sana (2:01.98) were second.

Competition in Sella Nevea will conclude on Wednesday (18 February) with the super combined.

Full results from the first day of action can be found here.

The IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada, between 28 February and 10 March is expected to gather around 130 athletes from 30 countries in the biggest gathering of alpine skiers since the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.

More information can be found here.