This weekend marks a relative calm before the storm with 2019 World Cup action set to explode next weekend, but two British stars are in action with Dave Ryding looking to continue his strong vein of form in Croatia while Andrew Musgrave has the final two stages of the Tour de Ski in Italy.
Alpine World Cup, Zagreb CRO – Sunday 6 January
Dave Ryding was national front-page news this week after scoring his second-career podium in Oslo on New Year’s Day and he returns to Croatia in good shape and with good history in Zagreb.
Prior to Christmas Ryding also scored a fourth-place finish in Italy by setting the fastest second run of the race, while Tuesday’s runner-up performance confirmed his form is coming back as he gets used to a new equipment setup this season.
The 32-year-old has finished seventh in the last two World Cups in Zagreb, last year’s performance coming despite being bruised and sore from a heavy crash at the preceding event.
Sunday marks Ryding’s second race in a stretch which sees him compete in six World Cups in 29 days including the next four Sundays.
He is joined on the start line by Laurie Taylor who is competing in Croatia for the first time.
Having finished last season with race victories in the Far East Cup and at the British Alpine Championships, Taylor is hoping to return to the form which saw him earn a top 30 finish at last year’s Winter Olympics.
The first run of the World Cup men’s slalom from Zagreb will be broadcast on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport Player from 11am on Sunday. The second run will be on Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player from 2:30pm.
The first episode of Ski Sunday for 2019 will also be telecast from Zagreb on BBC 2 from 5:15pm GMT.
Cross Country Tour de Ski stages 6 & 7, Val di Fiemme – Sat 5-Sun 6 January
The final two stages of the 2018/19 Tour de Ski will be run and won this weekend at Val di Fiemme with Andrew Musgrave still in striking distance of his best Tour finish.
The three-time Olympian achieved his best-ever Tour de Ski result last season when he finished 15th but entered this year’s event struggling to recover from illness at the back end of 2018.
Stage four in Germany saw Musgrave return to form with 15th place in the 15km mass start, his second-best World Cup result ever in a classic race. He followed that up with a strong performance in yesterday’s 15km free pursuit which sees him lying in 18th position with two stages to go.
After a rest day today, tomorrow’s sixth stage features another 15km classic mass start, the same length and format which Musgrave raced over on Wednesday. The Tour finishes on Sunday with the traditional 9km final climb which is expected to be played out before a television audience of around 30 million.
Stage 6 of the men’s Tour de Ski is scheduled to start at 2pm GMT on Saturday and Stage 7 is scheduled to start at 1:45pm on Sunday. Both events will be broadcast on Eurosport 2 and the Eurosport Player.