Davies battles to maiden National title in Wales

Jenny Davies made sure that the years of training and hard work paid off as she battled from fourth after the first run to take victory in the Welsh Championships in Pontypool. Alice Hales had lead after …the first run but suffered an appalling crash on the second run just a few gates from the finish and this was after Sarah Lamden had also skied out. Annie Usher had been in third place after the first run but was overtaken by Davies. Georgia Hyett topped the times of the Welsh racers and took third place overall. Another young promising racer, Olivia Ward took fourth and Rebecca Power made it an international finish with fifth place for Ireland.

Pontypool is one of the longest dry ski slopes in the UK with its unique flat top section that leads into a steep section that heads down to the finish. It is this section after the flat that causes the racers the most amount of worry depending on the course setting. With Simon Bannister setting the first run and Robin Kellen setting a slightly harder second run, the racers were given plenty to think about.

With just eleven hundredths separating Hales and Lamden after the first run, much was expected for the second run. Lambden had made a mistake as she came over the ridge and was hopeful of overhauling the lead her Welsh rival held. For those watching, the race between the rest was for third and beyond. No one foresaw what was to happen on the second run.

Jenny Davies has made steady progress over the last few years and with her training at Aldershot, better results have started to appear. She trailed Annie Usher, also of Aldershot, by fourteen hundredths yet put in a blistering and determined second run that saw her take the lead.

Usher had no answer to Davies and was edged out for the lead by just two hundredths. Georgia Hyett, four years her younger, dropped to third. Hyett has also made huge improvements this summer and her rise up the results board was testament to this. With two racers still at the top, sitting in third is probably the most frustrating position to be in knowing that you can be knocked off the podium by either.

Lambden was the first come down and all was looking good until she came over the rise and then got late and skied out.

With a lead now of 1.20 seconds over Davies by Hales, it all looked so promising for the leading Welsh racer at the moment. All was looking good for her as she was skiing sweetly across the flats and past the tricky section over the steep. Heading through the verticale approaching the finish, Hales caught her boot heavily against a gate and crashed heavily landing heavily on her hand. At first it looked as though her participation in the British the next day would be threatened.

Despite no racers coming down from Scotland, the racers from Ireland and England gave the Welsh good competition. As she walked back up the slope after the race Davies was shocked that she had managed to win the largest race of her career to date, she was having a hard time comprehending her efforts.

Full results: 14welshres

Picture: Jenny Davies on her way to winning the Welsh Championships at Pontypool. Picture credit: Racer Ready, all rights reserved

More action pics are available on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com