Highlights from the downhill races at IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup (Tignes)

Austria and the USA claimed three podium finishes apiece at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Tignes, France, on Tuesday (28 January), whilst there were double podiums as well for Switzerland and Germany. After heavy snow caused Monday's downhill to be postponed by 24 hours, skiers were finally able to take advantage of sunny, sub-zero temperatures in one of the last World Cup events before the start of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Downhill world champion Markus Salcher (1:15.59) posted the fastest time in the men's standing to claim victory over two Swiss skiers, Thomas Pfyl (1:19.33) and Michael Bruegger (1:19.51), who finished in second and third place. Salcher's compatriot Reinhold Sampl (1:19.26) led a close top three to victory in the men's sitting, with American super-G World Cup No.1 Tyler Walker (1:19.79) splitting two Austrians on the podium. Sampl's teammate Roman Rabl (1:19.79) finished third. France's Marie Bochet claimed another flawless victory on home snow, with a World Cup win to add to those from Panorama, Canada, and Copper Mountain, USA (1:23.44). "I felt good. I was not wrong on the drive, so that's done and it feels good!" the five-time world champion said. German rival Andrea Rothfuss (1:24.04) beat Russia's Inga Medvedeva (1:27.27) to third. Italian giant slalom World Cup No. 1 Alessandro Daldoss and guide Luca Negrini (1:16.56) added maximum points to their tally with victory over Slovakia's Miroslav Haraus, guided by Maros Hudik (1:18.11). Spaniard Gabriel Gorce, 23, and guide Arnau Ferrer Ventura (1:19.40) completed the podium. Anna Schaffelhuber of Germany, the reigning slalom world champion, sealed a win in the women's sitting (1:27.27.27) ahead of the USA's Laurie Stephens (1:31.82). After the race, 21 year-old Schaffelhuber said she felt the win was important on her way to March's Paralympic Winter Games: "It was a good day. Every day is a step, a step towards Sochi." Great Britain's Sochi 2014 medal hopeful Jade Etherington and Caroline Powell (1:26.60) beat the husband and wife team of Danelle Umstead and guide Rob (1:29.52) in the women's visually impaired race. Etherington's teammates Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans did not finish their first run. Races continue in Tignes on Wednesday (29 January) and conclude on Friday (31 January), before skiers head to St. Moritz, Switzerland, from 3-6 February. The IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals will be held in Tarvisio, Italy, from 24-27 February and will be the last opportunity for skiers to compete ahead of Sochi 2014 where alpine skiing competitions begin on 8 March.