He may have a World Cup slalom podium to his name this year, but skier Dave Ryding is anticipating a fight to win at the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships.
The 30-year-old from Chorley made history in January by becoming the first Brit in 35 years to score an alpine skiing podium when he finished second on the Kitzbuehel slope in Austria.
The Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships is currently underway in the world-class ski resort of Tignes, France, and Ryding, who also registered four other top ten World Cup finishes this season, is out to collect an eighth national title.
But despite his impressive results sheet this season, the Kandahar Ski Club member is still wary of challenges posed by Britain’s up and coming slalom skiers.
“I’d actually say it’s probably going to be the hardest British Champs for me to win because we’ve got a couple of really good skiers now coming through,” he said.
“I keep an eye on a lot of British racers, and certainly the ones skiing with the British team now, the younger guys.
“So I’m calling it as a really tough challenge and a tough race. They will be right up for it, it’s the biggest race of their season and I’m coming off a busy schedule, so I’ll certainly be trying my best and I think it will be a very good race this year.”
He is, however, looking forward to the end of his season, with just the national championships and a couple of extra weeks training and testing left before he can finally put his feet up.
And with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, in Pyeongchang, Korea, less than a year away, he insists he is not thinking that far ahead, yet.
“I didn’t really have any preconceptions of what it was going to be like, because I hadn’t really expected to be on the podium this year, if ever in my life,” he concluded.
“I never thought I would say it but it was a life changing moment. The next day people were recognising me around Austria and the media and press were very interested in my story.
“So never mind just having the podium, the energy that takes, but the energy it takes in the media was very different and very sapping. So it’s been a big learning curve this season, as well as a great one.
“Obviously there’s a big highlighted marker around that Olympic race, now, but first I’ve got to get another good summer of training under my belt.”
To follow the Delancey British Alpine Ski Team visit www.teambss.org.uk or follow @teambss on Twitter. As Principal Sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard, specialist real estate investment and advisory company Delancey is proud to be able to support British athletes – visit www.delancey.com