Paralympic Winter Games
7-16 March

Double World Cup delight for Bochet, Salcher and Schaffelhuber

Austria’s Markus Salcher, France’s Marie Bochet and Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber all secured their second wins of the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Panorama, Canada, on Sunday (12 January) with victories in their respective super combined events. 13 Jan 2014
Men's standing podium Super Combined Alpine World Cup Panorama 2014

Markus Salcher, Michael Bruegger and Matthias Lanzinger on the men’s standing Super Combined podium at the IPC Alpine World Cup in Panorama

ⒸAlpine Canada

The best race of the day was the men’s standing event which saw the top four finishers separated by just one second.

Due to heavy snow on Saturday, the super combined races were delayed for 24 hours at the resort that will stage the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.

The best race of the day was the men’s standing event which saw the top four finishers separated by just one second.

After winning Friday’s downhill, it was hardly surprising that Markus Salcher posted the quickest time in Sunday’s downhill, the first component of the super combined. His time of 1:15.02 was more than a second-and-a-half quicker than all his rivals and despite posting the eleventh fastest slalom time (38.16) he still had enough to secure victory in 1:53.18. Salcher’s Swiss rival Michael Bruegger (1:53.76) was second, whilst the third fastest slalom time of the day was enough to secure Austria’s Matthias Lanzinger (1:53.88) - the world champion in the event - the final podium position.

“I think the downhill was the base for my victory because slalom is not my discipline. I’m self-confident but the races tomorrow and the day after, we will see,” said Salcher who admitted he would be enjoying a celebratory beer before bed.

Going into the second discipline of the day in the women’s standing event, France’s Marie Bochet trailed leader Andrea Rothfuss of Germany by 0.11 seconds. However, Bochet showed exactly why she won five world titles last year with a blisteringly quick slalom to secure victory in 2:01.02. Rothfuss finished second (2:03.19) whilst Anna Jochemsen (2:05.80) of the Netherlands was third.

Marie Bochet said: “Slalom is my favourite discipline so it’s a very good fit. It was a very good slalom and it’s what I need after four days of downhill. It’s very nice to start the season this way, I didn’t go to [the World Cups in] Australia so it’s nice to start off this way. It’s a good week.”

Another athlete enjoying a good week in Panorama is Anna Schaffelhuber. The 20-year-old German (2:02.46) recorded her second win in as many events in the women’s sitting, beating her fierce rival and super combined world champion Claudia Loesch (2:08.57) of Austria into second. The USA’s Alana Nichols (2:08.74), who had posted the fastest downhill time of the day, struggled in the slalom and eventually finished third.

“I’m happy with the runs today. I think in the downhill I wasn’t as good as I was in Friday’s downhill race but I think today’s run put me in a good position. I think the slalom was very good. I’m really happy, it’s very good for Sochi,” said Schaffelhuber, who won the 2011 super combined world title.

The men’s sitting race was won by Austria’s Roman Rabl (1:55.03) who beat France’s Yohann Taberlet (1:56.00) and Japan’s world champion Taiki Morii (1:56.43) into second and third.

Roman Rabl said: “The downhill was perfect for me, the slalom too. I feel great. I look forward now to the giant slalom which I think is my strongest discipline.”

In the women’s visually impaired race, Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans secured their first World Cup victory of the season comfortably beating the Russian world champion.

The British pair (2:01.35) were fastest in both the downhill (1:23.74) and slalom (43.61) to finish well ahead of Alexandra Frantseva and guide Pavel Zabotin (2:13.68) in second. Danelle Umstead and guide Robert Umstead of USA (2:26.11) completed the podium.

“Charlotte and I worked really well together today. We had a lot of fun and it’s just training for the big event,” said Gallagher who will head into Sochi 2014 and next year’s World Championships boosted by her and Evans’ current form.

The men’s visually impaired was an extremely close race between two Slovakians. Jakub Krako and guide Martin Motyka (1:54.41) finished first, just 0.1 seconds ahead of teammates Miroslav Haraus and guide Maros Hudil (1:54.51). Russia’s Valerii Redkozubov, together with guide Evgeny Geroev (1:55.11) completed the podium.

“It was a very funny slalom. I made some mistakes up on the top part but, in the end, I think I did my best and I’m happy. I’m really happy that I am here, that I can compete here and I’m not the best in the downhill so I take every chance I can get to get better and I think I did that today,” said Krako who won super combined Paralympic gold in Vancouver.

Competition at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Panorama will continue on Monday (13 January) with the super-G events. On Tuesday, the final day of competition, will see skiers compete in the giant slalom.

Around 70 skiers from 13 countries are competing in Panorama, one of the last major events ahead of March’s Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Later this week athletes will head to Copper Mountain, USA, for the fifth World Cup event of the season.