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Thursday December 7, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

We're in the French Alps this weekend and first up is a bit of world-class slalom action in Val d'Isere. NEW & UPDATED

We've arrived in the neighbouring resort of Tignes where we plan to fit in a bit of skiing of our own after watching some top sport.

The start of the season has produced fantastic conditions and it's looking like there'll be snow, snow and more snow while we're there.

It was getting dark as we arrived late on Saturday afternoon but there was certainly lots of snow around and it's cold - very cold.

TignesTignes, 9th December

On Sunday we'll be at the foot of the wickedly steep Face de Bellevarde black run in Val d'Isere, rubbing shoulders with the best technical skiers on the planet.

 Face de Bellevarde, Val d'IsereFace de Bellevarde this week - photo Val d'Isere














We're looking forward to seeing Austria's Marcel Hirscher, Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen and, of course, Great Britain's Dave Ryding, who will be the 14th skier to race in the first run, which is scheduled to start at 9.30am local time.


Dave RydingRyding wins silver at Kitzbühel - photo Mo Guile, Zoom Agency















The Brit, who won a silver medal at Kitzbühel in January, was very nearly a history-maker at the first slalom of the season at Levi.

He was on the verge of becoming the first British alpine skier to win a World Cup in the 50-year history of the competition when he crashed out on his second run while in the lead with no other racers to go.
What can the 31-year-old do in Val d'Isere?

He was 17th in the race there in 2016 and 12th in 2015.

We've been getting the views of ex-ski racer Graham Bell.

We look ahead to the race, to Ryding's prospects and to the return to the screen this weekend of the BBC's Ski Sunday, now in its 40th season:


Sunday's slalom is part of the Critérium de la Premiere Neige, the annual festival of World Cup racing that takes place in Val d'Isere over two weekends every December.

We visited the resort ahead of the 60th anniversary event in 2015 and reported on its long history.

The opening races of the 62nd Critérium are the men's giant slalom and slalom which will both take place on the Face de Bellevarde this weekend.

Radio TV Val d'Isere has posted a short video of the work being carried out to make the slope race ready, as water is injected into the snow to turn it into ice.


Look out for our report and updates on social media on Sunday.

Then we'll be checking out the conditions over in Tignes.

TignesTignes, 28th November - photo Squash Falconer
















It's not a bad way to get out of the Christmas shopping.

Bring it on!

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