Three days after the return to Levi that did not quite have the desired result, David Ryding had time to reflect on how things had gone in Levi for his World Cup debut for the season. Ryding had come down into 31st spot, … probably the worst spot a racer can come down into as you instantly know that you will not be going back up for a second run. He would drop down to 39th after all the racers had come down but this was not the point, this was the slope that Ryding had achieved so much on last year and had given him his first World Cup points. “I wasÂ pretty disappointed to be honest in the fact I wasn’t able to produce the skiing that I am capable of for some reason,” he explained after the race to Racer Ready, adding “on a piste that suits me well I should have done better and very capable of that.”
Ryding drives himself hard. The boy from Pendle has matured and grown into the new hope for British Men’s Slalom ski racing. He already has four British National Slalom titles to his name (plus one Slovenian win!) yet despite winning the Europa Cup Title in Slalom last year, he wants to be racing on the World Cup, “this is where the big guys race,” he told me last year. The determination is there. Small margins now separate him from making the elite top thirty.
Levi is a flat slope, there is no denying this and coming into the first race of the Slalom World Cup, bib number 50 was his starting position. Did he feel the pressure coming into the race? “the Nerves maybe got the better of me and the expectation and pressure from what I achieved last year didn’t help,” he admitted.
Ryding feels that he still needs to improve technically as he now spends some time in Levi before heading over to Norway to start the defence of his Europa Cup title, won in dramatic circumstances last winter. Where did he feel that he lost the time on his run in Levi? “All the way, I just couldn’t step on the gas, was average skiing from A to B, with a couple of minor errors on the pitch.”
Having made the switch to Fischer this summer, Ryding feels confident on his new skis yet feels at times that he needs to learn to ski better if he is going to make better results. After the race, Tristan Glasse Davies, Ryding’s coach, explained that the 39th spot was still Ryding’s second best World Cup first run result. the determined athlete in Ryding comes to the fore again when he explains that “my WC results need to step up a bit.” after saying that the 39th spot “thats nothing to shout about.” The support from the likes of Delancey will help keep Dave pushing forward all the way to Sochi.
While Marcel Hirscher went on to win the race in Levi from Mario Matt and young Norwegian Henrik Kristofferson, this may not have been the result that Ryding wanted, or that his vast army of fans and supporters in Britain and around the world hoped for, but there will be more results on the horizon.
Follow Dave via his twitter feed @daveryding or his fan page on Facebook Dave Ryding – Skier
To get his FIS results click here