Schaffelhuber makes it 11 World Cup wins from the last 1231.01.2014
Vancouver bronze medallist now looks a strong contender for gold at Sochi after impressive start to 2014.
With just 35 days to go until the start of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, Germany’s Anna Schaffelhuber is looking a strong contender to win her first Paralympic title after she secured her 11th IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup victory of the year on the last day of competition in Tignes, France.
The slalom world champion, who celebrated her 21st birthday last Sunday (26 January), has lost just one race in the last 12 after she secured victory in the women’s sitting super combined on Friday (31 January).
Fastest in both the super-G and slalom runs, Schaffelhuber (2:16.13) finished well ahead of the USA’s Laurie Stephens (2:29.87) in second and Great Britain’s Anna Turney (2:30.84) in third.
Another Sochi medal contender in March is likely to be Slovakia’s Henrieta Farkasova who, after missing most of the season through injury, now boasts two wins from two races in the women’s visually impaired class. The 27-year old and guide Natalia Subrtova (2:25.75) - winners of Thursday’s giant slalom - topped the podium for the second day in a row, this time finishing ahead of Russian world champion and World Cup leader Aleksandra Frantceva, who was guided by Pavel Zabotin, (2:28.54). The USA’s Danelle Umstead and husband guide Rob (2:32.42) secured a hat-trick of podium finishes for the week in third.
Farkasova’s compatriot Miroslav Haraus, guided by Maros Hudik, (2:07.57), was third fastest after the super-G run, but posted a sensational slalom run (38.24) to win’s the men’s visually impaired race. Russia’s Valerii Redozkubov, guided by Evgeny Geroev, (2:08.31) finished second but still saw his World Cup lead reduced to just 20 points. In third place was Italy’s Alessandro Daldoss and guide Luca Negrini (2:11.57).
The disqualification of Russia’s World Cup leader Alexey Bugaev in the men’s standing, opened the door for Switzerland’s Thomas Pfyl (2:07.72) to secure victory. France’s Romain Riboud (2:12.25) finished second ahead of his teammate and world bronze medallist Cedric Amafroi-Broisat (2:12.64).
Marie Bochet (2:14.49) continued the French flourish with a convincing win the women’s standing, showing exactly why she won five world titles in 2013 and will start Sochi 2014 as a red hot favourite for gold. German Andrea Rothfuss (2:17.70) again took second, whilst the USA’s Allison Jones (2:22.79) completed the podium.
Austria’s Roman Rabl (2:10.67) looks favourite to win the men’s sitting super combined World Cup title after victory extended his lead at the top of the rankings to over 100 points. German Thomas Nolte (2:12.04) was second and a good day for France was rounded off by a third place finish for Frederic Francois (2:12.35).
The penultimate World Cup of the season will take place between 3-6 February in St. Moritz, Switzerland before the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals are staged in Tarvisio, Italy, from 24-27 February.
World rankings are available at http://www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/rankings.