By Tom Degun
December 10 - Britain's Sean Rose (pictured) produced an impressive performance in the German National Championships at Pitztal Glacier in Austria when he finished second in the giant slalom.
The former RAF Physical Training Instructor finished only a second behind Martin Braxenthaler, the German who won three of the four gold medals at the last Winter Paralympics in 2006.
Rose said: "I was over the moon with today’s result against such a strong field and in very difficult conditions.
"It proves my change in equipment and summer programme has paid off and I’m looking forward to keeping up the progress through the rest of the season and into the Winter Paralympics in Whistler next March."
After spending most of November training in Europe, Rose is now starting the race season and will be competing over the next few days in three IPC European Cup races, also at Pitztal, before heading over to the next valley to Kuhtai for a further four races in the same competition.
Rose, who was paralysed in a skiing accident nine years ago while in the RAF, will then return home to St Neots before heading back over to Europe for World Cup races in January.
Rose, who competes in alpine ski racing in the seated category and won Britain ’s first ever World Cup medal last season in Sestriere in downhill.
Competitions in the European Cup, which last for three days, will also include a super combined, a slalom and a giant slalom.
More than 100 male and female athletes from 19 different countries will be competing in Pitztal in three different classes – sitting, standing and visually impaired.
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October 2009: Rose hoping to bloom in Vancouver next year