Getting the full sweep of gold medals in their classes at the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships was only the start for France’s Marie Bochet and Netherlands’ Jeroen Kampschreur, who are now looking to repeat their perfect performance at the latest World Cup.
The champions will race in all six events to be held in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, from 6 to 10 February.
The ski resort will host three super-G and three giant slalom races in an expanded programme following the cancellation of the World Cup in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, earlier this week.
Men’s sitting - Chasing Jeroen
Fresh off his first perfect streak at the World Championships, Kampschreur will have the tough task of fending off the rest of the field in Veysonnaz.
Among his main rivals is Norway’s Jesper Pedersen, Paralympic gold medallist in giant slalom, who trailed Kampschreur in close range in four races at the 2019 Worlds. Pedersen is still getting back his stride after a life-threatening illness sidelined him for six months ahead of this season, but he is looking stronger with every race.
The super-G race will also be a chance for redemption for USA’s Andrew Kurka. The Paralympic speed champion crashed in his signature races in Sella Nevea, Italy, and left the 2019 Worlds without a medal.
Women’s standing - There’s something about Marie
Just like Kampschreur, Bochet will be trying to extend her winning streak in all five alpine disciplines in Switzerland. The French skier’s toughest competition will come from Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss who finished second to her at the Worlds three times - including in super-G - and Ammi Hondo, who is part of a strong women’s contingent from Japan looking to upstage the European favourites.
Women’s sitting - Rising and setting suns
Hondo’s teammate Momoka Muraoka managed to break the Europeans’ winning streak at the Worlds in giant slalom and super combined and will try to do the same at the World Cup. The USA’s Laurie Stephens is on a mission to make a similar breakthrough on behalf of the North American skiers and may prove a strong challenge to Muraoka.
Both will have to beat four-time Worlds medallist Anna-Lena Forster of Germany who only missed out on the podium in super-G and is eager to make up for that in Switzerland.
Men’s standing - No more diplomacy
The Switzerland team is out to get the better of three-time world champion Arthur Bauchet of France, sending their best three skiers Theo Gmur, Thomas Pfyl and Robin Cuche on this mission on their home slope.
Gmur beat Bauchet in super-G after losing to him in giant slalom on the first day of the Worlds but is still reeling from crashing out of the super combined race where Bauchet ultimately won gold.
Gmur’s veteran teammate Pfyl was on Bauchet’s toes in slalom and super combined but had a weaker than expected performance in super-G and giant slalom. He just missed the podium in both races and will be sure to make use of the home snow advantage to get his groove back.
Women’s vision impaired - Commonwealth duel
With multi-world and Paralympic champion Henrieta Farkasova out of the competition due to a knee injury she re-aggravated at the Worlds, the women’s vision impaired races will be a duel between Australia’s Melissa Perrine and Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick.
Perrine got the best of Fitzpatrick at the Worlds in giant slalom, while Fitzpatrick beat her Australian rival in the super-G race on her way to winning gold.
Men’s vision impaired - Slovakian Switzerland
Slovakian teammates Miroslav Haraus and Marek Kubacka will take their national rivalry to an international level when they face off on the slopes of Veysonnaz.
Kubacka was the surprise giant slalom winner on the first day of the Worlds. He beat four-time world champion Giacomo Bertagnolli in the race and thus denied the Italian a perfect streak at his home World Championships.
Haraus is the favourite to get gold in super-G and will also try to improve on his recent fourth-place performance in giant slalom.
You can catch all the action from Veysonnaz live on World Para Alpine Skiing’s website, where results are also available.