Dutch skier Anna Jochemsen and Austria’s Gernot Morgenfurt reached the top of the IPC Alpine Skiing Europa Cup podium twice on 17-18 November, with wins in slalom in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.

Jochemsen impressed at home in the women’s standing in the two separate races.

Para Skiing
The Dutch and Austrian alpine skiers got their season underway with slalom victories in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.

On Thursday (17 November) she beat Switzerland’s Bigna Schmidt and Canada’s Frederique Turgeon into second and third, respectively.

Then on Friday Jochemsen was back on top, once again triumphing over Schmidt. This time France’s Marie Chatel-Laley claimed third place.

Morgenfurt excelled in the men’s visually impaired with guide Christoph Peter Gmeiner.

He secured first place in both races, claiming a double victory over Poland’s Maciej Krezel guided by Anna Ogarzynska and Austria’s Shaun Pianta with guide Jeremy O’Sullivan.

In the women’s visually impaired Australia’s World Championships silver medallist Melissa Perrine took the first Europa Cup victory on Thursday with guide Andrew Bor.

South Korea’s Jae Rim Yang was second, guided by Un So Ri Ko. Belgium’s Eleonor Sana, guided by Chloe Sana, was third.

However the second race on Friday belonged to Great Britain’s super-G Paralympic champion Kelly Gallagher, making her return with new guide Gary Smith. Sana was second again, followed by teammate Marie-Morgane Dessart in third with guide Antoine Marine Francois.

The women’s slalom sitting races saw a double win for Austria.

World champion Claudia Loesch claimed her first points of the season, clearing the Netherlands’ Linda van Impelen by exactly four seconds. French skier Laureen Welschbillig just missed out on second place, ending with third.

Heike Tuertscher sealed victory for Austria in the second race. Welschbillig improved by one place to second, whilst Dutch athlete Barbara van Bergen rounded off the podium.

French skiers dominated the men’s sitting, winning four out of the six podium places available over the two days.

Yohann Taberlet led the first slalom ahead of teammate Frederic Francois. Floris Meijer represented the Netherlands in third.

World Championships medallist Francois led the second slalom ahead of the Netherlands’ Jeroen Kampschreur. Taberlet completed the top three for France.

Switzerland’s Thomas Pfyl led Thursday’s men’s slalom standing. The Dutch enjoyed their next podium finish in second courtesy of Jeffrey Stuut. Finland’s Santeri Kiiveri was third.

Stuut improved to first place the following day, and Kiiveri followed in second. Austria’s Martin Wuerz, the Europa Cup winner from last season, returned to claim third.

Full results are available at IPC Alpine Skiing’s website.

The next Europa Cup takes place in Pitztal, Austria, on 12-13 December. It is swiftly followed by the opening IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Kuhtai, also in Austria, on 15-17 December.

All skiers are working towards the 2017 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, taking place between 22-31 January.