Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster secured the best possible start to her race season on Thursday (19 November), taking victory over Austrian world champion Claudia Loesch in slalom at the IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.
The 20-year-old, who won World Championships bronze in 2015 to follow on from silver at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, registered a strong result in the women’s sitting.
With three first placed runs Forster (1:33.50) led Loesch (1:36.44) onto the podium. Linda van Impelen (1:40.99) claimed bronze for the Dutch hosts.
On the men’s side Poland’s Igor Sikorski (1:22.39) took his first career Europa Cup victory and in doing so toppled another Paralympic Games medallist.
Austria’s Roman Rabl, the overall No. 3 from last season and Sochi 2014 bronze medallist, finished behind Sikorski in 1:24.14. There was more silverware for the Netherlands as Jeroen Kampschreur (1:24.57) completed the top three.
Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss (1:34.34) continued her winning ways in the women’s standing after a close race with Dutch skier Anna Jochemsen (1:34.93).
Paralympic champion Rothfuss led after the first run. However, Jochemsen took the lead in the second. Less than a second separated the two in the third run but it was Rothfuss that emerged victorious.
Switzerland’s Bigna Schmidt (1:37.81) was third.
The Netherland’s Jeffrey Stuut demonstrated the advantage of skiing on home snow in the men’s standing, taking his first Europa Cup win.
As the only man to ski under 26 seconds across all three runs, Stuut (1:23.73) was able to resist a charge from Austria’s Martin Wuerz (1:24.06) and Dutch teammate Thomas Mulder (1:24.13).
Concluding the action was a debut Europa Cup win for Germany’s Noemi Ewa Ristau (1:32.03) in the women’s visually impaired with guide Luise Mona Holland.
Ristau posted two fastest runs to lead Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick (1:33.93) and guide Jen Kehoe onto the podium. Belgium’s Morgane Marie Dessart (1:44.53), guided by Marine Francoise Antoine, was third.
The IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup races are the first of the 2015-16 northern hemisphere season and continue on the indoor slopes of SnowWorld on Friday (20 November) with more slalom.
Live updates are available on Twitter @IPCAlpine and Facebook. as well as coverage at the IPC Alpine Skiing website.