The Top World ski paralympic champions will perform in the 2014 IPCAS World Cup Finals in Tarvisio, Italy
Spain’s multi world and Paralympic champion Jon Santacana will make his long awaited comeback from injury this weekend (24-27 February), at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Tarvisio, Italy, the last major event ahead of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Santacana, 33, has been out of action since tearing his Achilles tendon at September’s IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Thredbo, Australia, but will line up with his guide Miguel Galindo and around 50 other athletes for this weekend’s downhill and super-combined races.
In the men’s visually impaired class, Santacana will face stiff competition from his compatriot Gabriel Gorce and guide German Agranovskii as well as Slovakia’s Jakub Krako, who is guided by Martin Motyka. Italy’s Alessandro Daldoss (guided by Luca Negrini) on home snow and with two downhill World Cup podiums to his name this season is also likely to be a contender.
The finals will be livestreamed at www.sc2worldcup.com and www.paralympic.org/live-sport.
In the women’s visually impaired class, Russia’s super-combined World Cup Aleksandra Frantceva and guide Pavel Zabotin can secure the overall title with victory. She will be closely monitoring Danelle Umstead and husband and guide Rob however, as the U.S pair could yet still snatch the downhill and super-combined World Cup titles if results go their way.
The men’s downhill standing will see Austria’s world champion Markus Salcher go head-to-head with team-mate Matthias Lanzinger. Salcher is in superb form this season, having claimed 12 World Cup podiums across all disciplines, and barring disaster should claim the overall downhill World Cup title. In the super-combined he could also challenge current leader Alexey Bugaev of Russia for the title.
The women’s standing events could see Russia’s Inga Medvedeva capitalise on the absence of France’s multi-world champion Marie Bochet by claiming both the super-combined and downhill World Cup titles. The USA’s Allison Jones is still in contention for the downhill title however.
The closest contests of the weekend may come in the two runs of the men’s sitting downhill. Five of the world’s top 10 in the World Cup rankings are racing, and all are in contention to take the overall title. World Cup leader Andrew Earl Kurka of the USA will start as favourite but with a slender five point lead will face stiff competition from teammates Tyler Walker and Christopher Devlin Young, as well as the Austrian duo of Roman Rabl and Reinhold Sampl. A finish of any kind in the super-combined will also be good enough to secure Rabl the overall super-combined World Cup title such is his current lead.
The women’s sitting events will see Austria’s world champion Claudia Loesch race the USA’s downhill world champion Laurie Stephens. Victory for Stephens in the super combined will give her the overall World Cup title in the event.
Around 50 athletes from nearly 10 countries will compete in Tarvisio from 24-27 February, in the last stop before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.