Dave Ryding has made history winning Britain’s first gold in the Alpine Skiing World Cup, 55 years after the tour was created.
Ryding won the Hahnenkamm slalom race on the Ganslernhang racecourse at Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tirol, where he had previously taken silver five years ago in 2017.
Ryding, 35, who was already Britain’s most successful ever Alpine ski racer, was lying in sixth place after his first run, but moved into the lead after a 49.86 second second run, with the five racers skiing after him either skiing out or not matching his time.
Norwegians Lucas Braathen and Henrik Kristoffersen were second and third respectively, Kristoffersen, visibly excited for Ryding’s win at the finish, moving up more than 20 places from his first run position.
“You know, I’m 35 now, but I never stopped believing, I never stopped trying, and to bring the first victory for Great Britain in a World Cup, in Kitzbuhel… I mean, I don’t know if dreams are made better,” Ryding commented in the post race interview.
Dave’s long-time coach Tristan Glasse-Davies and his ski technician Jai Geyer were both clearly overwhelmed by his victory.
Ryding’s win came in the week of ceremonies in Mürren, Switzerland, commemorated the centenary of the creation of the slalom race format by British ski racing pioneer Sir Arnold Lunn, with members of the Lunn family, including Bernie, below, present. The first ever Alpine slalom race in its current form took place that or January 21st, 1922.
Hahnenkamm race organisers also noted that Britain’s Gordon Cleaver won the Combined race at the first ever staging of the meeting 91 years ago in 1931.
Ryding learned to ski on a dry slope in Lancashire and didn’t ski on snow until age 12. He is off to his fourth Winter Olympics in a few days’ time after competing in the final World Cup slalom before the Games in Schladming this coming Tuesday.
Along with the winner’s trophy Dave won a CHF 110,000 prize.
The win also takes Dave up to 4th in the FIS World Cup Slalom standings. Race images credit Red Bull.