Craig Speed won the battle of the Aldershot Racing athletes to take his first career National Title in an enthralling battle. Toby Case took the spoils on the first run but was edged out on the second run by the older and more experienced Speed. Ryan Bloom battled his way into third overall while Rhys Price was the first Welsh registered racer home to take a commendable fourth place with another Welsh racer, Aiden Jones in fifth.
Toby Case was the talk of the slope after the first run as he put in a tremendous run. Clean, smooth and fast, Case ran his Dynastar skis fast to have the better of the whole field to lead from Speed by a tenth of a second. Speed was not happy having his younger rival ahead of him and in between runs you could feel his determination to correct this on the second run. This is what racing is all about. Ryan Bloom was a second behind Case with Rhys Price and Joshua Price rounding out the top five after the first run.
With ten to go Joe Constantine lead the race but he was soon pushed off the lead by Charlie Tubbs and then Peter Davies dropped into second. Although better on the second run, Constantine had left himself too much to do after a poor first run. Jones was another to recover from a disappointing first run and he pushed promising youngster Joseph Thompson down a place.
With five to go the podium looked like this: Jones lead from Thompson with Tubbs in third.
Joshua Price is a racer that has the ability but struggles to put two solid and fast runs together in the same race. In fifth place after the first run he was skiing well when his inside ski just went the wrong side of a gate and a straddle was called. Race over.
Rhys Price is one of the racers that has improved this summer yet although he had a big gap to try and break down, he was leading the race amongst the Welsh racers and sometimes the place is more important than the time. Skiing with his head, Price did enough to hold off Jones’s combined time to take the Welsh National Title for the Welsh racers. Could he make it on to the race podium, however?
Ryan Bloom is slowly building his career. Just starting his FIS career after taking part in a few races in New Zealand this summer, Bloom is combining his studies with racing on a limited budget this year. With solid performances that he has put in this summer after winning the Delancey British Under 16 Slalom title at Tignes last season, he will be one of the racers to watch this season. Bloom comfortably bettered Price’s time and held the lead overall by a commanding 1.64 seconds with Speed and then Case to go.
Speed has been another racer that has stepped up his racing this summer and was rewarded with third at the All England the weekend prior to the Welsh Championships. With Chris Corr having crashed out on run 1, Speed knew that the race was his to win if he could put a strong run in. Case would have to fight but Speed knew he had the strength to better his younger club mate.
Faster than Bloom by a second and a half on the second run alone, the challenge was set for Case.
In Kitzbuehel, Dave Ryding had mentioned to the World’s press that he had drawn on his experiences of going last in Dry Slope races as to how he had coped with going last. Going last on the second run was a new experience for Case.
While his second run was not as impressive as his first run had been and with only a tenth of a second advantage, Case put in another strong run but he did not quite have enough for the win and took second. Victory for Speed over Case with Bloom in third.
The age group wins went to Joseph Compton (Under 14, 13th Overall); Toby Case (Under 16, 2nd Overall); Ryan Bloom (Under 18, 3rd Overall); Craig Speed (Under 21, Race Winner) and Peter Davies (Senior, 9th Overall).
Pictures from the races are on www.racerready.zenfolio.com