David Ryding took a step forward after the disappointment of Wengen in the Night Slalom held in Schladming. The race was the last World Cup slalom before the Olympic Games and Ryding explained after the run that he felt he had turned the corner … after the disappointment of Wengen. Ryding failed to make the second run, seven tenths separated him from the leading thirty racers yet this was a more aggressive and exciting run from him.
“I feel that I have turned the corner after the nightmare of Wengen,” Ryding explained. Wengen had certainly been a disappointment and Ryding explained that maybe he had over trained on the fitness side of things following the Chamonix races in early January.
This is a hill that would not normally suit the style of skiing that Ryding excels on. While the snow was aggressive it “allows you to do things,” Ryding explained as he looked back up the hill. “Usually it is so icy that you are just hanging on but tonight it was really nice, I liked it.” After the last few weeks where the conditions have been hard, this was a welcome respite he felt.
Where did he feel that he had lost out? “I struggled on the hairpins this evening. This is something that I will have to talk to Tristan about and work on in training.”
Ryding likes his home comforts and was very grateful to having his sister in the start and enjoyed trying to put on a show for the British supporters in the crowd. He likes to give them something back for coming out and supporting him.
While the Slalom World Cup takes a break now for the Olympics, Ryding will take a short break at home and then will get back on the Europa Cup Tour in Germany and Bulgaria before heading to Sochi. With few training pistes available in Sochi and wanting to stay away from the all the pressure and attention that the Olympics draws, Ryding will head to the Olympics for his one race as late as possible. A few Europa Cup races and training away from all the hullaballoo is what he is after.
Ryding finished 42nd, 12 places and 0.70 seconds off making his second World Cup second run. Like the complete Swiss team, Ryding had to watch the second run. In one of the most exciting races, 19 year oldÂ Henrik Kristoffersen in only his 23rd World Cup race took his first win after first run leader Mario Matt straddled on the third gate. Marcel Hirscher took second, one hundredth ahead of Felix Neureuther who benefitted from his coach setting the second run to haul himself up the leaderboard with the fastest second run.
On a day when increased support from Â Delancey for the British Alpine Ski Team was announced, Ryding put in a performance that will please Sir John Ritblat and Delancey. With the Olympics getting ever closer, this was a performance that is heading in the right direction. As Ryding commented: “There is still a lot of work to do!”