It was quite a weekend for British snowsports, with skiing and snowboarding fans across the country glued to their screens on both Saturday and Sunday as GB Park and Pipe’s Katie Ormerod claimed second place in the opening Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Milan on Saturday night, and Dave Ryding coming close to making history after leading the Slalom World Cup in Levi after the first run, only to ski out half way down the second run on Sunday.
FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup – Milan, Italy
The impressive Big Air jump in Milan saw some equally impressive performances from the snowboarders who were competing for World Cup glory this weekend. GB Park and Pipe’s Katie Ormerod showed no sign of the back injury she sustained last season, pulling out cab 900 mutes and backside 720 mutes to take the silver medal behind Austria’s Anna Gasser.
After qualifying for the six-woman final earlier in the day in fifth place, Ormerod was up against a high-quality field in the six-woman final that didn’t disappoint. Ormerod put in two solid jumps in the first two rounds, meaning she went into the final round leading the field, but Austrian Anna Gasser’s final jump was just too good, and she eventually triumphed, scoring a total of 160.25, with Ormerod claiming the silver with 143.25 and Sina Candrian from Switzerland taking bronze with a score of 130.25.
“I'm really pleased with silver today at the first World Cup Big Air of the season” said Ormerod after claiming second. “It really boosts my confidence going forward into such a busy and important few months”
Ormerod’s teammate Aimee Fuller couldn’t match her performance from last season when she came 4th in Milan, scoring 51.25 on her best jump in qualification and missing out on the finals. She finished 16th overall.
The men’s event was highly competitive, but GB Park and Pipe’s Matt McCormick looked impressive in qualification, landing his second jump which scored him 73.00. With only 10 men out of the 51-man field going through to the final, McCormick eventually finished
7th in his qualification heat and 19th overall, a great result for the young Scot.
FIS Alpine Slalom World Cup – Levi, Finland
British Alpine Ski Team athlete Dave Ryding was on the verge of a historic win in Levi, Finland yesterday as he impressed in the Slalom World Cup, taking top position after the first run by 0.14 seconds. As the race leader, Ryding was the last man down the foggy Finnish course on run two, however after looking strong on the first part of the course and 0.51 seconds ahead after the second split, Ryding caught an inside edge, coming out of the course and unfortunately clocking a DNF.
"It wasn’t the best of days overall”, said Ryding after the race. “But I have to take some positives from my performance. I went out there and put out what I have got, and it shows that myself and my team have been doing something right over the summer in training. It is a shame not to come away from today with some points, but sometimes slalom can be cruel.
"Going into the second run I knew it was tight and I had to attack. When you are racing you are never sure whether you are up or down on the timing so you just have to go for it. I started the pitch the way I know I can, but halfway down my inside ski just went away from me and that was it. I just have to put the disappointment to one side now and carry on believing in myself. I will pick myself up and get back to training before the next World Cup in four weeks.”
Ryding’s teammate Laurie Taylor who was competing in his second-ever World Cup had a fantastic start in run one, but couldn’t hold on and skied out of the course. Although disappointing, it is all good experience for the 21-year-old who finished 33rd in the Slalom at the World Championships at the end of last season.
In the Ladies Slalom World Cup on Saturday, British Alpine Ski Team athlete Charlie Guest finished the first run in 51st place, meaning she didn’t progress to the second run, but showed that she can hold her own on the World Cup circuit. Unfortunately her teammate Alex Tilley wasn’t able to finish run one, clocking her second DNF of the season.