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RYDING CRASHES OUT - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Sunday November 12, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

GB's Dave Ryding was on course for a historic win after leading the first run. In Milan Katie Ormerod won silver. UPDATED



We thought we may be about to witness a piece of British skiing sporting history, courtesy of Rocket Ryding in the opening World Cup slalom race of the season.

After run one in Levi, Finland, he was at the top of the leaderboard, 0.14 seconds ahead of Germany's Felix Neureuther in second and 0.18 seconds ahead of third placed Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway.

Austria's Marcel Hirscher, who was racing less than three months after breaking his ankle, was sitting in fourth, 0.46 seconds behind Ryding.

Dave Ryding leads after run 1 in Levi 2017In the lead after run 1













30-year-old Ryding was the last skier to go in run 2 and was looking good.

His lead was comfortable.

The last split before he skied out of the course about two thirds of the way down it put him 0.51 seconds ahead.

A first World Cup victory for GB in the 50 year history of the competition was so, so close.

From what we saw, though, there is no doubt that it will come.

Maybe even at the next race in Val d'Isere in December.

We hope so as PlanetSKI plans to be there.

It's all very promising in Winter Olympic season.

"It wasn't the best of days overall, but I have to take some positives from my performance," Ryding said.

"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.

Dave Ryding Levi 2017Noooooo!













Watch the race highlights below ..

So Close.... Watch Dave Ryding - Run 2:

"I know I can handle the pressure, and I showed in Kitzbühel last year that I was capable holding my nerve. I was just going for the win and attacking today. 
"Although I am disappointed, it shows that things are going in the right direction and as always I came into the start of the season 100% ready.

"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. 
"The support I have received has been brilliant. When I ski I am not just skiing for myself, but for all my supporters and for the people who are aspiring to ski at the same level as me. The support is hugely motivating, so thanks to everyone who is getting behind me."

Germany's Felix Neureuther took the win in a combined time over the two runs of 1:42.83.

Henrik Kristoffersen (Norway) was second in 1:43.20 with Sweden's Mattias Hargin third in 1:43.28.

Returning from injury, Marcel Hirscher ran out of steam towards the end of the second run and finished 17th.

"I never thought I would win here," Neureuther said.

"I am 33 years old. It's my first race as a father. To win here is unreal."

GB's rising alpine star, 21-year-old Laurie Taylor, who showed his promise by finishing 33rd in the slalom at the World Championships last season, failed to complete his first run.

But Levi was only his second taste of World Cup action.

This was the leaderboard after Run 1 when it was all still to play for:

First run standings Levi World Cup slalomFirst run standings
















Here at PlanetSKI we didn't want to get too excited after Run 1, but couldn't help remembering that Ryding was in first place after the first run at Kitzbühel last season and he got the silver medal behind Hirscher.

That was the best result for a British alpine skier for 35 years.

Last year at Levi, Ryding picked up a 6th place - then a career-best result.

He went on to take that famous silver and six top 10 results in total.

Dave Ryding run 1 LeviAbout to go, run 1












Dave Ryding Levi 2017As seen on TV












It wasn't to be for Dave Ryding and in the women's slalom on Saturday, there was also disappointment for GB.

Charlie Guest was 51st while Alex Tilley did not finish.

There was, however,  good news for the GB Park & Pipe team over the weekend.

Katie Ormerod made it onto the World Cup podium - again.

She picked up the silver medal at the first Snowboard Big Air of the season in Milan on Saturday night, as we reported in our News In Brief.

Katie Ormerod, 2nd Milan Big Air 2017Katie Ormerod wins silver
















The 20-year-old had led going into the final run but was beaten to gold by Anna Gasser of Austria.

Sina Candrian of Switzerland was third.

Ormerod aims to take part in four Big Air and three World Cup Slopestyle events before February's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Earlier this month, she said she was "confident" of winning Olympic medals in both disciplines.

"I'm really pleased with silver today. It really boosts my confidence going forward into such a busy and important few months," Ormerod said.

Ormerod is widely considered to be GB's best prospect of a medal on snow at Pyeongchang.

We spoke to her in Laax in April and will shortly bring you a new video interview in the latest of our series looking at GB Winter Olympic hopefuls.

Ormerod's GB Park & Pipe teammate Aimee Fuller, who achieved her best result in the Milan Big Air last year - a fourth place - did not make the final, finishing in 16th.

In the men's Snowboard Big Air, Matt McCormick put in an impressive performance in a very strong field to finish 7th in his heat.

Matt McCormick at Milan Big Air 2017Matt McCormick 7th in his heat - photo GB Park & Pipe



















Only the top 5 in each of the two heats qualified for the final, so he missed out.

He ended up 19th overall, picking up 120 World Cup points.

It's a great start for McCormick who made his World Cup debut last season with a top 20 spot in Moscow and 27th at the World Championships.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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