21 July 2017

BSS Summer Series featuring Dave Ryding

Over the coming weeks we catch up with our Team Athletes and Coaches to reflect on their incredible achievements last winter and look forward to PyeongChang 2018. During this series we will cover historic milestones, testing out venues and preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.

This week we catch up with Delancey British Alpine Skier, Dave Ryding!

You began the season with your best ever World Cup result, finishing 6th in Levi. How did you approach the rest of the season following that result?

Yeah, starting so well in the season was massive, it instantly showed that the work in the summer had done some good. I tried to keep expectations exactly the same after that, always aiming for the top 15 and anything better was a bonus. Obviously towards the end I was aiming to be more around 10 than 15, but a slightly bad run in men’s Slalom and you are out of the top 20 so I had to keep my feet on the ground.

In Kitzbühel, you were in pole position following the first run, how did you maintain your composure between runs?

Kitzbühel was obviously a whole new experience for me, but saying that, I was feeling a lot of similar emotions to when I was first leading a dryslope race, or first leading a FIS race. I tried to draw on these occasions and it was comforting to know that these feelings are totally normal, but just on a whole different level. Kitzbühel being so different probably played into my favour. I knew it was hard just to finish the race, no matter what position you are in (having skied out on the 2nd run the previous 2 years), so it kind of made me focus more on good skiing than having to defend a lead.

Dave following his 2nd Place finish in Kitzbühel, PC: Alexis Bouchard | Agence Zoom

After the results you were surrounded by a media storm, with another World Cup just two days later how did you stay focused?

I didn't stay focused in between, I couldn't do anything that  I would have liked to have done, and never mind the lack of sleep due to excitement of the whole thing. It was phone call after phone call and TV things all Monday. Drawing number 1 also ramped up the pressure big time for my first start bib in the top 7. Couple this with the biggest crowd of the year at the night race, it was all a learning curve big time. But come the race I could at least get back in the zone and rely on all my training coming up to the race. I did the best I could, but in the 2nd run I was really struggling with tiredness.

Dave in the start gate at the Schladming Night Slalom World Cup

This summer we have seen the announcement of the new British Alpine set up, how do you think the future of British Alpine is looking?

British Skiing is well and truly on the up. I have felt some great momentum over the past few years from the work of the Alpine Committee, and now we have a really professional set up,  with the appointment of Dan Hunt,  Reini Fernsebner and  additional coaches. I am really passionate about how the sport can grow further down the line. I am in a great position myself now, so to know that these things are falling into place around me, really gives me the belief that there are no more limits - I have to make the most of the situation I’ve been given.

Catch up on Mike Bushell & BBC Breakfast’s feature on British Skiing here

Summarise your expectations for next season in 5 words

Hard, Long, Gruelling, Emotional, Snowy 




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