Alex Tilley 2018 Giant Slalom 2 credit Vanessa Fry Photography



Debbie Gabriel

03 Apr 18

Ryding & Tilley dominate as overall crown is shared

Debbie Gabriel

03 Apr 18

Alex Tilley and Dave Ryding showed today why they are in the world’s upper echelon of technical skiers by dominating their pet events at the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships in Tignes.

Tilley won the uvex Ladies’ Giant Slalom by more than six seconds while Ryding was well clear of his nearest rival on his way to an historic ninth title in the uvex Men’s Slalom.

The results mean that all four British alpine skiers who competed at the Winter Olympics in February – Ryding, Tilley, Laurie Taylor and Charlie Guest – each picked up a title at this year’s Championships.

Tilley was in a commanding mood from the outset, leading by almost four-and-a-half seconds on after the first run. With such a commanding lead she could afford to be more conservative in the second run, but instead she extended her margin to over six seconds.

Tilley (2:20.90) won the Ski Club of Great Britain Challenge Cup for the sixth time, with Honor Clissold (2:27.10) in second and Victoria Palla (2:27.37) third. Palla also picked up the Gordon Skiers Cup as the fastest Under 18 and Lois Jackson (eighth) won the Ladies Ski Club Open Challenge Cup as the highest-placed non-British team skier.

After a season which focused on World Cups and a maiden Olympic campaign, Tilley was happy she could put together two solid runs to claim another national title.

“You really need to make sure that you are motivated at the start gate and I think probably better than other years I did that quite well this year,” said Tilley. “I’m quite proud of myself for that because it’s something I really struggle with.

“In that sense it’s really good. It’s always great to have a national title, it still means something so I’m not here for a holiday; I’m here to win a race and I’m glad to do that today.”

Ryding was equally dominant on his way to a ninth national Slalom title, clocking the fastest time on each run to once again take the National Ski Union Cup.

The 31-year-old was almost a second clear of fellow Olympian and Giant Slalom champion Laurie Taylor after the first run, however when Taylor straddled the last gate in the second run, Ryding had an even bigger buffer and he put in a clinical run to the finish.

Ryding (1:25.81) finished ahead of Zak Vinter (1:28.26), while Billy Major’s (1:33.16) third meant he reached the podium in every national championship event for the second year in a row. Leonidas Karavasili (seventh) won the Baird Trophy for the highest-placed non-British team skier while Owen Vinter (eighth) was the fastest Under 18 and took home the Schools Abroad Trophy.

While Ryding described his performance as “nothing special”, he acknowledged that it’s getting more difficult each year to maintain a margin on a field which is improving in quality all the time.

“It’s always tough at the British Champs, especially with these conditions,” said Ryding. “My setup’s for the World Cup, for the icy piste so you come here and it’s all very different.

“[The race] was solid; it was nothing to shout about, but in the end that’s what I’m here to do, just try and tally off another one but it gets harder and harder

“The younger Brits are coming which is cool, but it makes my life more stressful!”

Ryding & Tilley dominate as overall crown is shared

Iain Innes and Billy Major have shared the Sir John Ritblat Cup for Victor Ludorum after finishing equal on points in the Overall Combined standings.

Major – who won the title in 2017 – won the Downhill and finished third in the other three disciplines, while Innes shared victory with Charlie Raposo in the Super G, was runner-up in the Downhill and fourth in both technical events.

Innes went into today’s race with a 10-point lead and would have won the title outright had Laurie Taylor not straddled the last gate of the slalom, however the result ensured both skiers finished on 280 points and along with the overall title, they also shared the Fedden Cup as the Combined Men’s Champion.

Seventeen-year-old star on the rise Victoria Palla capped an amazing week by winning the Lillywhite Gretton Trophy for the Combined Ladies’ Champion. Palla finished on the podium in three national championship races to claim victory ahead of Downhill winner Yasmin Cooper.

With a tie in the Victor Ludorum, organisers awarded Palla the DHO Challenge Plate which is presented to the runner-up in the Overall Combined, and she also collected the Inghams Hotel Plan Trophy as winner of the Ladies’ Under 18 Combined.

Owen Vinter won the Spence Trophy for the Men’s Under 18 Combined, while the McLeod Trophies for the highest-scoring non-British team skiers went to Caitlin Wroe and Duncan Kuwall.

The National Championships events may have concluded but the action doesn’t slow down over the weekend with National Junior Championships set to be decided in Giant Slalom, Slalom and Overall, while disability races will also be contested.