USA’s Danelle Umstead and guide husband Rob took home the women’s slalom visually impaired globe at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup finals in Aspen, USA, on Friday (26 February), despite taking second place in the final race with a time of 1:32.33. “This was probably one of our best slaloms we’ve done in a long time. This course was really fun and it felt pretty good,” said Umstead.
Great Britain’s Kelly Gallagher with guide Gary Smith came first in the race (1:29.99) and teammate Millie Knight with guide Mike Abromowitz 1:34.19 took third place. But topping the rankings for the women’s slalom visually impaired World Cup with Umstead were her teammate Staci Mannella and Great Britain’s Menna Fitzpatrick in second and third place respectively.
“It was a super close race between Staci and I going into this last race,” said Umstead. “Our goal this year was to be a little stronger in tech and this is a great way to show we’ve reached that goal and now we’re looking forward to our favourite events with speed. “The best thing is being able to share the podium with [Staci]. Whether I won it or I was in third, it’s so amazing to be on the podium with her. I love being right next to her every step of the way.
“I want her to be on the top step of the podium. It’s been really great to train together side by side. I always tell her ‘you need to beat me’ and she does. She’s super strong and nothing but faster skiing is going to come along.” It was no surprise that Marie Bochet clasped the women’s slalom standing World Cup globe.
The Frenchwoman and Paralympic champion also leads the overall rankings in her class. Her final slalom race saw her storm to victory in 1:22.08. Canada’s Alana Ramsay came second (1:29.26) and Netherlands’ Anna Jochemsen third (1:30.53) in the final race. It was enough for Ramsay to stand in third place in the overall rankings with USA’s Stephanie Jallen in second.
Germany’s Anna-Lena Forster skied to victory in the final women’s slalom sitting race (1:27.98) to take the World Cup globe for the event. She also currently leads the overall rankings in her class. USA’s Laurie Stephens took second place both in the final race (1:34.83) and the overall rankings. Her teammate Anna Beninati (1:54.05) came third in the race. With two strong runs, Russia’s Valerii Redkozubov with guide Evgeny Geroev had the fastest time (1:12.76) in the men’s slalom visually impaired, bringing him the World Cup globe.
Spain’s Jon Santacana Maiztegui with guide Miguel Galindo came second (1:14.70) and Italy’s Giacomo Bertagnolli with guide Fabrizio Casal third (1:16.82). The Italian pair currently lead the overall rankings in the men’s visually impaired class. Despite trailing behind in the second run, a fast first run was enough for New Zealand’s Adam Hall to come first in Friday’s men’s slalom standing race (1:15.05).
Japan’s Hiraku Misawa (1:16.15) and Australia’s Mitch Gourley (1:16.59) came second and third respectively. But it was Russia’s world champion Aleksei Bugaev who clasped the World Cup globe for the event, despite not finishing his second run, having already accumulated enough points in previous events.
A quick first run secured the win for Japan’s world and Paralympic champion Takeshi Suzuki (1:17.73) in the men’s slalom sitting race ahead of his teammate Taiki Morii (1:18.45), but it was the latter who clasped the World Cup globe at the end of the season. Morii is also leading the overall rankings for the class. France’s Frederic Francois came third in the race (1:19.23)
The full final slalom standings for the 2015-16 IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup can be found here: www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/rankings. Full race results from Thursday can be found here: www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/calendar-and-results.