Yesterday, the World Cup alpine slalom race in Kitzbuehel took place, with the best skiers in the world trying their luck including, Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian slalom specialist; Henrik Kristoffersen, the young Norwegian; and the only British racer on the World Cup circuit, Dave Ryding.
Ryding has been performing solidly for the last few seasons on the tour, but yesterday, caused quite the stir when he finished the first run slalom run in first place. After putting down an impressive first run, the Pendle Ski Club racer finished the second in second place – the first time a British alpine racer has done so in 50 years.
He told BBC Sport: ‘The first run was just insane. I knew I had skied it clean, but couldn’t believe it when I crossed the finish line.’
‘In between runs I tried not to get the heart rate up or get stressed. I was trying to tell myself I wasn’t the last one to go but it was tough. It was a mental battle with myself but I won the mental battle. Hirscher skied so well, so coming second almost felt like a victory. It’s crazy. I’m just really proud of what I’ve achieved.’
Feeling inspired? Why not plan your next ski holiday around the FIS world cup circuit to get a glimpse of the action.
Where to Go?
Wengen, Switzerland – 12-14 Jan
This historic ski resort is home to the longest World Cup downhill race, the Lauberhorn. It is one of the hardest and most competitive races in the world. The resort is also home to the Down Hill Only Club.
Kitzbuehel, Austria – 20-22 Jan
This is the great race to win. If you win on the Hahnenkamm race, you go down in history as one of the world’s best skiers. It is famously hard and challenging, so much so that last year, the race ended (the world cup leader) Aksel Svindal’s season after he failed to complete the course. This is the race to win. Due to the race, it is one of the most popular resorts to visit. With 54 cable cars and lifts to the 179 km of prepared slopes you won’t get bored on a week’s ski holiday here.
Schladming, Austria – 24 Jan
Schladming is the home of the raucous and entertaining night slalom race. Lit with floodlights, the world cup slalom race takes place on the famed Planai slope in the darkness, with thousands of screaming fans cheering on their favourites (Marcel Hirscher is the World Cup leader, and Austrian hopeful) but it’s worth watching tomorrow to see what Dave Ryding can pull off after his podium finish in Kitzbuehel. This year the resort is celebrating 20 years of the Night Slalom.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy 28-29 Jan
In the heart of the Dolomites, Cortina d’Amprezzo is the home to the ladies downhill. With impressive scenery and dramatic cliffs surrounding the downhill track, Cortina is one to watch.
St Moritz, Switzerland – 11-13 Feb
This classic Swiss ski resort is home to the World Cup downhill for both the men and women alpine skiers and the famous Cresta Run toboggan run. As one of the most glamorous resorts in the Alps, it’s always worth a visit.