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

The Northern Hemisphere World Cup season for the two disciplines has begun in the USA and Europe and GB athletes are at both. NEW

Britain's halfpipe skiers got their first competition under their belt at Copper Mountain, Colorado on Wednesday, while the Ski Cross team is in Val Thorens for the start of the Cross Alps tour on Thursday.

Alpine skier Dave Ryding heads to Val d'Isere for the second slalom of the winter on Sunday and PlanetSKI will be there.

Watch out for our separate report previewing the race.

Ski Halfpipe World Cup, Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 December - Copper Mountain USA

Ladies' Halfpipe - Madi Rowlands, Molly Summerhayes, Rowan Cheshire

Men's Halfpipe - Murray Buchan, Pete Speight, Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon

 Pete SpeightPete Speight - photo Tommy Pyatt

They've had a long wait since the first Ski Halfpipe World Cup of the season, which took place more than three months ago at Cardrona, New Zealand.

Round two began at Copper Mountain on Wednesday.

Madi Rowlands and Molly Summerhayes are aiming to qualify for their first Olympic team and this event marks another step in that journey.

Rowlands, 17, is the 2016 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist and showed her promise at senior level with 11th at the World Championships earlier this year.

She had the best result of the three, finishing 9th in her heat at Copper Mountain and 20th overall.

Twenty-year-old Summerhayes - sister of 2014 Olympian Katie - was the 2015 Junior World Champion and managed a top 20 result at Cardona in September.

She just missed that on Wednesday, finishing 22nd overall after coming 12th in her heat.

Molly SummerhayesMolly Summerhayes




















Rowan Cheshire also lined up but was using the event as part of her return-to-snow training plan following injury.

She managed 12th in her heat and 24th overall.

The Men's event saw a great top 20 performance from Murray Buchan in a highly competitive field.

He was 16th overall and 8th in his heat.

GB Park and Pipe posted the photo below on Twitter with the message:

Stellar day for @murraybuchan at the first @FISfreestyle Halfpipe World Cup of the season, which took place at @CopperMtn. Murray placed 16th overall in front of the Olympic judging panel and in a fully stacked field of riders.

Murray BuchanMurray Buchan at Copper Mountain - photo GB Park & Pipe









Buchan, who scored a top 20 result at the Sochi Olympics, is a veteran of more than 20 World Cup appearances and is eyeing qualification for PyeongChang.

Speight started his season strongly in Cardrona finishing 18th, his second best World Cup result. He was 25th at Copper Mountain.

Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon didn't manage to replicate his two previous best World Cup results (15th two years ago in New Zealand and a top 20 in South Korea earlier this year).

He was 28th overall.

Ski Cross World Cup, Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 December - Val Thorens France

Ladies Ski Cross - Emily Sarsfield, Pam Thorburn, Liz Stevenson

The Ski Cross World Cup season opens in Val Thorens on Thursday with the first leg of the Cross Alps Tour.

The Tour will feature six competitions in four countries over just 16 days.

The event in Val Thorens will see qualifying and a race on Thursday followed by another race on Saturday.

Three British women will be lining up with Olympic qualification in mind.

Emily SarsfieldEmily Sarsfield - photo Dan Smye Rumsby













Emily Sarsfield has fond memories of Val Thorens having scored victories there at a Europa Cup in 2010 and a FIS race in 2016.

She earned a pair of top 20 results at the corresponding event last year and will be looking to start her campaign on a high note.

She has given a video interview to PlanetSKI about the season ahead.

Pamela Thorburn achieved a top 20 finish at the World Championships and will be hoping to show that speed over the coming weeks.

She consistently finished in the top 25 in her five World Cup events last year and scored two top 30 results at events in Austria last month.

Liz Stevenson is on the comeback trail after a knee injury required surgery earlier this year.

Her best World Cup result came in France in 2015 when she finished 11th in Megeve, however she is yet to start a major race at Val Thorens.

This weekend also sees a Moguls World Cup at Ruka in Finland, a Cross Country World Cup at Davos, Switzerland and that Alpine World Cup featuring Dave Ryding at Val d'Isère, France.

We'll bring you more on these later.


Alpine Europa Cup, Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 December - Kvitfjell, Norway

Delancey British Alpine World Cup squad members Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest will line-up alongside Europa Cup Squad member Cara Brown in the Giant Slalom and Super G. Brown will also compete in the Alpine Combined.

Ski Jumping FIS and Continental Cup, Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 December - Whistler Olympic Park, Canada

Sam Bolton and Robert Lock will take to Whistler Olympic Park in FIS Cup (Thursday/Friday) and Continental Cup (Saturday/Sunday) events over the next four days.

Robert LockRobert Lock




















Bolton, who turns 15 on Saturday, competed in his first FIS Cup at the same venue in February 2016 while Lock, 20, achieved his only top 10 FIS result at Whistler last year.

Sam BoltonSam Bolton














MAIN PHOTO:  Murray Buchan by Jenny Bletcher

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