David Ryding started 45 in the first run at the World Cup Slalom in Wengen and with the racers in front of him struggling, skied safely to make it down the treacherous Slalom piste. Bigger names than Ryding had already come to grief, including …  Ivica Kostelic and Ted Ligety. Ryding though while he tried to attack failed to get the skis to run and crossed the line in 33rd spot, just outside that all important top 30. By the end of the run, he had slipped down to 45th and out of the race.

What has gone wrong for the leading British skier on the World Cup this season? Sigi Voglreiter, the World Cup Race Team Manager for Fischer, the skis Ryding uses, commented that he was too safe. It was noticeable that Julien Lizeroux, who started just in front of Ryding was a lot more aggressive that the man from Pendle. Conditions were not that different for the two racers. “At this stage of the race, it is no good racing at 90%, you have to attack with full gas,” Voglreiter explained. “For sure you will crash out a lot but if you are to make it into the second run in the World Cup races, you have to be on the limit and then some.”

Ryding was despondent in the finish. He knows that he can ski faster and that Wengen is one of the hills that does not favour his style of racing with its steep pitches. Ryding is still learning the hills on the World Cup and while today was not his day, he now goes to Kirchberg on the 23rd before racing in Kitzbuehel next Sunday. And then heading to Sochi.

Having taken the choice to miss a Europa Cup Slalom in Zell am See today, Ryding will come back stronger after this set back. It is all part of the learning curve.

Marcel Hirscher lead after the first run in Wengen but was unable to withstand a second run charge from Alexis Pinturault with Felix Neureuther taking second and Hirscher dropping to third.

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