France’s Bochet takes overall downhill World Cup

Competition across classifications also hots up heading into the final downhill races in Aspen, USA. 02 Mar 2016
A female standing skier competes in super-G

France's Marie Bochet won her third world title at Panorama 2015, taking her career total to eight.

ⒸAlpine Peak Photography

France’s world and Paralympic champion Marie Bochet secured the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup women’s downhill standing globe on Tuesday (1 March), with one race to spare in Aspen, USA.

Bochet’s points haul for the season totals 300 after an unbeaten run, ensuring she cannot be caught at the top of the rankings. It is her third overall globe this season, having secured the slalom and giant slalom crowns on Aspen Mountain last week.

In the race, Bochet (1:16.64) was nearly flawless to lead the USA’s Stephanie Jallen (1:20.80), who took second. The Netherlands’ Anna Jochemsen (1:22.64) was third, with the rest of the overall top three to be decided on Wednesday (2 March).

In the men’s standing Austria’s Paralympic champion Markus Salcher (1:12.68) was the victor, expanding his lead at the top of the points table.

Australia’s Mitchell Gourley (1:14.58), who finished second in the race, could still catch Salcher. New Zealand’s Adam Hall (1:14.79) was third.

Germany’s Paralympic title holder Anna Schaffelhuber (1:20.72) made a winning comeback in the women’s sitting, after missing the first downhill races in January.

The German, who is out of contention for the overall globe, led the USA’s Laurie Stephens (1:23.16) into second. Schaffelhuber’s teammate Anna-Lena Forster (1:23.82), the current points leader, was third.

New Zealand’s Corey Peters (1:13.62) took the win in the men’s sitting, moving himself up to second in the rankings to challenge for the World Cup title. Currently topping the leader board is Canada’s Kurt Oatway (1:13.89), who finished second. Japan’s Akira Kano (1:14.05) was third.

Great Britain enjoyed their latest podium sweep in the women’s visually impaired, headed by Menna Fitzpatrick (1:21.04) and guide Jennifer Kehoe. Millie Knight (1:21.36) was just behind in second, guided by Brett Wild. Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher (1:23.77) completed the top three with guide Gary Smith.

There is little between the trio ahead of the final downhill on Wednesday when they will race to decide the final standings.

World Championships silver medallist Mark Bathum (1:11.41) enjoyed the top step of the podium for hosts USA in the men’s visually impaired, guided by Cade Yamamoto.

After the race, Bathum praised Canada’s second-placed finisher Mac Marcoux (1:12.78) and guide brother BJ.

“Mac and his brother BJ are two of our best friends on the circuit,” Bathum said of the world champions. “We really enjoy socialising with them on the hill or after hours and really admire how they ski and how they race.

“They have terrific technique and obviously a brotherly bond in their guiding so they make for a great team. Anytime we can compete with them, Cade and I are ecstatic. We’re thrilled to come away with a win against them because even when they make their errors, they’re still really, really fast skiers.

“I was ecstatic after having fallen in three of the four speed events in [Tignes] France earlier this year and making a big mistake in the fourth event. It’s a big relief to have some good runs and consistency and not make an error that cost us the race. It’s a feeling of relief to know that you can still compete and that we have a platform to build from. We won both training runs and now the race so we feel a high level of confidence and hopefully we can charge even harder from here.”

Eighteen-year-old Marcoux still leads the overall points standings. Russia’s Ivan Frantsev (1:13.83), guided by German Agranovskii, strengthened his position in the top three with a third place finish on the day.

Full results are available online.

Points standings heading into the final downhill on Wednesday (2 March), can be found at the IPC Alpine Skiing website.

The overall super-G globe winners will be decided on Thursday and Friday (3-4 March).