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Thursday November 9, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Two of Britain's best hopes for the Winter Olympics, Dave Ryding and Katie Ormerod, are among seven GB skiers and snowboarders in action this weekend. NEW

The World Cup season moves into full swing with Dave Ryding in the opening slalom of the season in Levi in Finland and Katie Ormerod competing in the first Snowboard Big Air event in Milan.

Twelve months ago Dave Ryding produced a memorable start to his season at Levi, finishing in a then career-best 6th place.

He went on to win silver at Kitzbühel in January and pick up a total of six top 10s.

In March in Tignes, where PlanetSKI spoke to him, he became the first skier to win eight British slalom titles.
Ryding starts the season 10th in the world rankings.

Dave RydingDave Ryding - photo Vanessa Fry Photography















The two-time Olympian, who's 30, goes into Sunday's race with his sights firmly set on PyeongChang.

"As ever the start of the season is always pretty nervy with the anticipation and excitement, but I know I have put the hard work in," he said.

"I know I am giving myself every chance by putting in the hours this summer in both Europe and Argentina.

"I am looking forward to this weekend to see what is in store and what everyone else is bringing to the table."

20-year-old Katie Ormerod is arguably Team GB's best chance of a medal on snow at PyeongChang in February.

She's already met the qualification standard.

Katie OrmerodKatie Ormerod - photo Matt Georges















It will be her first Olympics and she's targeting two podium finishes - in Slopestyle and Big Air.

Snowboard Big Air is making its Olympic debut at PyeongChang.

She'll get her first taste of competition in the event this season at the night-time competition in Milan on Saturday.

Milan Big Air 2017Milan Big Air 2017 - photo FIS













Ormerod achieved her best ever results in 2016/17.

She finished second overall in the World Cup standings following three podium finishes which included a victory in Big Air in Moscow in January.

She's now fully fit after a summer of rehabilitation following a back injury.

PlanetSKI interviewed her in April as she recovered from the injury.

But let's not forget the other skiers and snowboarders in action this weekend.

GB has a World Cup team across the disciplines that's growing in strength.


Ryding will be joined in the Levi men's slalom by rising star Laurie Taylor, who is getting his second taste of World Cup action.

The 21-year-old showed his promise by finishing 33rd in the Slalom at the World Championships this year.

The women's slalom on Saturday will feature another pair of Delancey British Alpine Ski Team members - Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest.

Tilley started her season a fortnight ago at Sölden in the Giant Slalom.

Although she did not complete her first run in what proved to be challenging conditions for all competitors, she clocked impressive times through the first two splits.

The two-time National Slalom Champion will also take confidence from an impressive finish to last season where she took five top 5 finishes in FIS and Nor-Am Cup races in March and April.

23-year-old Guest did not compete in Austria but is looking for a strong result after one of her best off-seasons in years.

Charlie GuestCharlie Guest - photo Vanessa Fry Photography














"This summer has been one of the best I have had for a long time,"Guest said.

"We've done a lot of training in so many different conditions that I am feeling really ready for the season to get started.

"As for Levi, I am going in with everything I have and will go 100% at it."


GB Park & Pipe teammate Aimee Fuller joins Ormerod in the women's Big Air.

Fuller and Ormerod both had top 10 finishes there in 2016, with Fuller finishing just off the podium in what remains a career-best fourth position in Big Air.

She's aiming for her second Winter Olympics after competing at Sochi in 2014 and is currently inside the top 20 in the Big Air rankings.

Aimee FullerAimee Fuller - photo Roxy















"Summer training has gone well in both New Zealand and on the European glaciers", Fuller said.

"I am feeling strong, on top of my board, and excited to get my first Big Air contest of the season underway this weekend.

"Last Winter Milan was one of my favourite events, finishing in the final top 5.

"My main focus between now and February is building up the best momentum ready for the Games, using the contests to build my competition experience and focusing on best preparing the tricks I want to perform in February ready for then."

The men's Big Air is expected to be highly competitive with Matt McCormick the sole British representative in Milan.

McCormick will be looking to make his mark after debuting on the World Cup scene last year.

The 20-year-old's standout results in Big Air last season came with a top 20 in Moscow and 27th at the World Championships.

Matt McCormickMatt McCormick






















FIS Alpine World Cup - Levi, Finland

Saturday 11 November: Women's Slalom - Charlie Guest & Alex Tilley

Sunday 12 November: Men's Slalom - Dave Ryding & Laurie Taylor

Both events are scheduled for broadcast on Eurosport 1 from 9:45am on Saturday and Sunday.

FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup - Milan, Italy

Saturday 11 November: Big Air - Aimee Fuller, Katie Ormerod & Matt McCormick

The finals are scheduled for broadcast on Eurosport 2 from 5:45pm on Saturday.

MAIN PHOTO:  Dave Ryding in Kitzbühel by Mo Guile, Zoom Agency

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