Dave Ryding in action in Levi (Credit: Agence Zoom)

19 December 2017

Sixteen skiers in World Cup action before Christmas


Alpine, Moguls, Ski Cross, Halfpipe and Slopestyle World Cups will all take place before the Christmas break and British Ski and Snowboard athletes are in action across Europe and China.

The Ladies’ Alpine World Cup continues in Courchevel tomorrow with the Parallel Slalom and Alex Tilley will be on a high following her career-best effort today. The Men’s Alpine World Cup stops at Italy on Friday where Dave Ryding will be in action.

Moguls and Halfpipe skiers will be competing in China, Men’s Slopestyle take on the course in Font Romeu, France while the final Ski Cross World Cup of the Cross Alps Tour will take place in Italy.

FIS Alpine World Cup – Tuesday 19 to Wednesday 20 December – Courchevel FRA
Ladies’ Giant Slalom and Parallel Slalom: Alex Tilley, Charlie Guest

Alex Tilley has recorded her best-ever World Cup result after finishing 13th in the Giant Slalom at Courchevel, France today.

Tilley sent down a strong first run to sit 20th, however it was her second trip down the mountain which was the real eye-opener. The 24-year-old sent down the fifth-fastest time of all competitors in the second run to move up seven positions.

It is the first time Tilley has cracked the top 15 in World Cup competition, bettering her previous best of 19th which came almost two years ago in Austria.

The result comes after a strong month of competition in which Tilley placed 21st at the Killington World Cup which included the ninth-fastest first run, sixth place at the Europa Cup in Norway and victory in a FIS race in Finland.

Charlie Guest did not qualify for the second run, finishing 47th out of 71 starters.

The World Cup continues in Courchevel tomorrow with the Parallel Slalom.

FIS Alpine World Cup – Friday 22 December – Madonna di Campiglio ITA
Men’s Slalom: Dave Ryding

Dave Ryding fought tough conditions at Val d’Isere in his last World Cup start but still managed a top-20 finish. His form from the opening event of the season in Levi was more of an indicator of his ability where he led the field after the first run.

Ryding has previously raced the course at Madonna di Campiglio in three World Cups, with his best effort coming last year. On that occasion, Ryding was seventh fastest down the second run to finish in 12th overall.

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup – Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 December – Innichen ITA
Ladies’ Ski Cross: Emily Sarsfield, Pamela Thorburn, Emma Peters

The four-event Cross Alps Tour wraps up in Italy this week with the fifth and sixth World Cup races, rounding out two-and-a-half weeks of action across four countries.

Having already stopped in France, Austria and Switzerland, the Ski Cross World Cup now hits Innichen with the British trio of Emily Sarsfield, Pamela Thorburn and Emma Peters looking for their best results of the campaign.

Sarsfield reached the knockout phase in Montafon however Peters – on World Cup debut – and Thorburn were guilty of a cut-throat qualification after full qualifying was cancelled due to adverse weather.

Following Innichen, the Ski Cross World Cup will go on hiatus until mid-January with the final events before Olympic selection.

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup – Wednesday 20 & Friday 22 December – Secret Garden, China
Ladies’ Halfpipe: Molly Summerhayes
Men’s Halfpipe: Peter Speight, Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon

Three GB Park and Pipe skiers will take on the Halfpipe World Cup in China over the next few days.

Twenty-year-old Molly Summerhayes is the sole representative in the ladies’ event, looking to improve on her 17th and 22nd results so far this season. Her best World Cup performance was 11th at Tignes in 2015 however she has never finished outside the top 25 in her six World Cup starts.

Peter Speight is coming off a 25th place finish at Copper Mountain and a 18th place in New Zealand earlier in the year. That result was just one place off his best-ever World Cup finish in Tignes last year.

Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon will also be in action in China. With a career-best 15th in New Zealand in 2015, he will be looking to move further up the leaderboard with a current season-high of 28th earlier this month in the United States.

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup – Thursday 21 and Saturday 23 December – Font Romeu FRA
Men’s Slopestyle: Tyler Harding, Mike Rowlands, Harris Booth, Chris McCormick

A strong contingent of GB Park and Pipe skiers will be in action at Font Romeu later this this week in the final World Cup Slopestyle event of the year.

Tyler Harding’s best result at World Cup level came four years ago when he finished 15th in Spain as a 17-year-old. He will be looking to revisit that form after finishing 43rd in Stubai last month.

Mike Rowlands has only competed in three World Cup events and his best result came on debut at Silvaplana in March when he placed 23rd. Harris Booth will gain more experience in France following his World Cup debut in New Zealand earlier this year while Chris McCormick has the best British result in men’s slopestyle this season with 35th in Stubai in just his second event at this level.

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup – Thursday 21 and Friday 22 December – Thaiwoo CHN
Ladies’ Moguls: Makayla Gerken-Schofield
Men’s Moguls: Max Willis, Thomas Gerken-Schofield

The new moguls program kicked into World Cup competition mode earlier this month and three skiers head to China looking to improve on solid outings.

Max Willis finished 25th out of 67 starters in Ruka, his best-ever result in World Cup competition since debuting in 2013. Thomas Gerken-Schofield was making his first World Cup start in the event and beat home a third of the field in 44th place.

Makayla Gerken-Schofield was equally impressive in her World Cup debut, finishing 32nd out of 55 starters in an event that will give her fantastic experience heading into Thaiwoo.

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