U.S. strong in World Cup finals opener

March 03, 2010, 3:50 p.m. (ET)

ASPEN, Colo. -- Tuesday's downhill kicked off World Cup finals in Aspen, with the U.S. Adaptive Alpine Ski Team strong. The U.S. grabbed six podiums, including two wins, Joe Tompkins (Juneau, AK; sit-ski) and Alana Nichols (Farmington, NM; sit-ski) on top.

"Today was the best weather that we had for the race and the course was in perfect condition," said Mark Bathum (Seattle, WA; visually impaired). "There were a little bit of ruts from the previous couple of days that added a little more excitement to the course."

Tompkins and Nichols were joined on the top of podium by Germany's Gerd Schoenfelder and France's Solene Jambaque in the standing division and Spain's Jon Santacana and Czech Republic's Anna Kuliskova in the visually impaired division.

Bathum, the only other U.S. male to podium, posted a solid second place finish. Three U.S. women, Laurie Stephens (Wenham, MA; sit-ski), Allison Jones (Winter Park, CO; standing) and Danelle Umstead (Taos, NM; visually impaired), also scored a second place finish in their respective disciplines.

The U.S. showed no signs of fear, only postive energy heading into Tuesday's race. Despite chilling temperatures through the night hardening the track, the U.S. Adaptive Alpine Team charged down the hill to grabbing the most podiums then any other participating country.

"It was cold over night so the track was a little firmer and faster," explained Bathum. "Everybody was at least a second faster today."

World Cup finals will continue in Aspen on Wednesday for another downhill.

"It's a very nice course that uses the terrain of the hill, very effeciently and naturally," said Bathum. "The course really flows down the hill beautifully."

World Cup
Aspen, CO
March 2, 2010

Men Sitting

1. Joe Tompkins, Juneau, AK, 1:13.16
2. Thomas Nolte, Germany, 1:14.34
3. Yohann Taberlet, France, 1:15.59
4. Akira Kano, Japan, 1:15.71
5. Christopher Devlin-Young, Campton, NH, 1:16.04
6. Carl Burnett, Winter Park, CO, 1:16.06
10. Tyler Walker, Franconia, NH, 1:17.79
11. Heath Calhoun, Snowmass Village, CO, 1:19.72
15. Erik Bayindirli, Deer Mountain, UT, 1:22.34
DNF: Nick Catanzarite, Winter Park, CO, Gregory Peck, Wasilla, AK

Men Standing

1. Gerd Shoenfelder, Germany, 1:16.68
2. Marty Mayberry, Australia, 1:17.15
3. Toby Kane, Australia, 1:18.12
4. Michael Bruegger, Switzerland, 1:18.13
5. Cameron Rahles-Rahbula, Australia, 1:18.19
8. Ralph Green, Vail, CO, 1:18.96
11. George Sansonetis, Fraser, CO, 1:19.15
13. Monte Meier, Park City, UT, 1:19.79
20. John Whtney, Towson, MD, 1:21.93

Men Visually Impaired

1. Jon Santacana, Spain, 1:12.10
2. Mark Bathum, Seattle, WA, 1:13.05
3. Jakub Krako, Slovakia, 1:14.85
4. Nicolas Berejny, France, 1:14.92
5. Gerd Gradwohl, Germany, 1:15.28

Women SItting

1. Alana Nichols, Farmington, NM, 1;17.68
2. Laurie Stephens, Wenham, MA, 1:19.65
3. Claudia Loesch, Austria, 1:21.22
4. Tatsuko Aoki, Japan, 1;29.62

Women Standing

1. Solene Jambaque, France, 1:21.07
2. Allison Jones, Winter Park, CO, 1:22.92
3. Andrea Ruthfuss, Germany, 1:25.07
4. Marie Bochet, France, 1:25.32
5. Melania Corradini, Italy, 1:25.78

Women Visually Impaired

1. Anna Kuliskova, Czech Republic, 1:24.31
2. Danelle Umstead, Taos, NM, 1:25.04
3. Anna Cohi, Spain, 1:32.29
DNF: Caitlin Sarrubi, Brooklyn, NY