IPC Alpine Skiing has published the calendar for the 2016-17 season, which will feature five World Cups, seven Europa Cups, a World Championships and the Test Event for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. Highlighting the season are the Worlds in Tarvisio, Italy, between 22-31 January, followed by the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event on 9-18 March which will also act as the World Cup Finals.
Landgraaf, the Netherlands, will open the Europa Cup circuit on 17-18 November with two slalom Europa Cups. A further edition then takes place in Pitztal, Austria, on 12-13 December. Kuhtai, Austria, will open the technical World Cup season on 15-17 December with races in slalom and giant slalom. A parallel slalom exhibition event will take place in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on 18 December before another World Cup on 19-22 December.
Markus Walser, Chairperson of the IPC Alpine Skiing Sport Technical Committee, is looking forward to the new season after the progress made in 2015-16: “Last season we had our first World Cup in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, a classic alpine ski racing venue. It is very positive that we continue to develop relationships with organisers in places well recognised amongst teams, fans and the media.
“The calendar planning with two compact blocks of events in Europe and then North America was also well received by teams. We had successful Europa Cup events across the continent despite some snow challenges, and we would like to thank everybody involved for their efforts.
“The 2016-17 season will include the World Championships in Tarvisio which has hosted a number of World and Europa Cup events. They are planning an exciting programme and we look forward to a great event.
“The European portion of the World Cup will start in December with a return to Kuhtai. The World Cup normally starts in January, so this is a new approach. Overall, we are expecting a very exciting season.”
Opening the year in style will be slalom, giant slalom and super-G Europa Cups in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, on 7-9 January before the first downhill, super-G and super combined World Cup races are contested in Innerkrems, Austria, on 11-15 January.
Skiers will get the final chance to test themselves in World Cup giant slalom and slalom in Kranjska Gora on 18-20 January, just days before the World Championships in Tarvisio. Tarvisio 2017 is expected to attract 140 skiers from 30 countries, all looking to put in winning performances to test themselves with just over one year to go until PyeongChang 2018.
After a two week break, the Europa Cup season starts again with a return to Kranjska Gora on 13-14 February with two giant slalom races. Sljeme, Croatia and Stara Planina, Serbia, follow before the end of the month.
Developing the competition calendar further in Asia, Hakuba, Japan, will host a World Cup for the first time since 2008 from 27 February-1 March. The PyeongChang 2018 Test Event and World Cup Finals will then take place, featuring a full programme across technical and speed.
The Europa Cup will conclude in Hoch-Ybrig, Switzerland, on 29-31 March. Last season France’s multiple world and Paralympic champion Marie Bochet highlighted the World Cup circuit, winning globes in women’s slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill women’s standing.
The full Para alpine skiing calendar can be viewed at www.paralympic.org/alpine-skiing/calendar-and-results.