GB Snowsport today announce that the British Senior Alpine Championships 2021, which were due to be held in Tignes, France between March 28th – April 4th, 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

We have been continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and due to the British Government’s guidelines around international travel, we have reached this decision with our partners Tignes.

We are looking forward to coming back bigger and better in 2022, with the Senior Championships taking place between 27th March and 3rd April 2022 and the Children’s Championships from 4th April to 8th April.

Paul Trayner, GB Snowsport Alpine Director:

“It is with great regret that we have to make this announcement. The GB Champs is a real highlight of the season and a key milestone event for so many of our athletes. The GB Snowsport alpine squad have achieved some fantastic results so far this season, and I know they were looking forward to competing in Tignes. To be starved of it for 2 consecutive seasons is a real shame but we will return to Tignes in 2022 and endeavour to make it the biggest and best GB Champs yet. This year has been a real challenge for us all and I hope that we can get back to the sport that we love very soon”.

Frédéric Porte, Director General of Tignes Development:

“Hosting the GB Snowsport British Alpine Championships in Tignes has become a tradition over the years. The bond that we have with GB Snowsport has historically been very strong and seeing the 2021 edition of the Championships also being cancelled (after the first cancellation in 2020) due to the global COVID pandemic is a great disappointment for all. We will make sure though that together with GB Snowsport we will prepare the best ever 2022 edition. In the meantime; stay safe!”

Updated 24th February 2021

The Home Nations and the TD Forum met on 18th Feb to conduct their scheduled review with regard BASS Seeding and TD assignment for the remainder of the 2020-21 on-snow season.

The review looked at the current and ongoing restrictions imposed by Governments at a national and inter-national level, including local and regional lockdowns and current travel restrictions; particularly noting the challenges these regulations impose for organisers and officials, as well as athletes and their supporters.  The following was decided:

·       The provision to accept results for BASS seeding from events in the UK Geographic area was withdrawn with immediate effect. TDs will not be assigned, nor results accepted from any event within UK for the remainder of the season.

·       The suspension of the assignment of TDs and the acceptance of results for BASS seeding from events held in Europe was extended until the end of the season.

This ends BASS sanctioned events for the 2020-21 snow season and thus the BASS List will be closed for the season with immediate effect. As there have been no BASS seeded races in the 2020-21 snow season it is intended to carry forward the closing BASS list from the end of the 2019-20 season as the start list for the 2021-22 snow season, subject to technical considerations. More details will follow in due course.

The Home Nations and the TD Forum will now focus on supporting the artificial ski slope events in UK across the summer should restrictions allow. Snowsport England, Scotland and Wales, will review the summer calendar in light of all relevant restrictions, ensuring that events are supported where travel and regional restrictions allow for fair and safe racing across the whole ski community; noting that time for athletes to train prior to the restart of racing is an important safety factor. The TD Forum will assign TDs and accept results for seeding in support of the Home Nations approved programme and will review the necessary rules, including those adopted for the 2020 summer season, to ensure safe, fair and compliant events prior to the start of the season.

GB Snowsport today announce that the British Alpine Children’s Championships 2021, which were due to be held in Tignes, France between April 5th – April 9th, 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.  

Following weeks of continued monitoring of the global pandemic, the GB Snowsport Board has made the decision to cancel the event. 

With current Government UK Guidelines stating that only elite athletes can travel, GB Snowsport is awaiting further clarification from officials, before making a decision on the FIS British Alpine Championships due to take place in Tignes between March 28th – April 4th.

Vicky Gosling OBE, Chief Executive Officer of GB Snowsport, said: “We acknowledge that it is enormously disappointing that we’ve had to cancel the British Children’s Championships for a second year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We take the safety and well-being of all children, officials and spectators extremely seriously, which is why we had to make this difficult, but necessary decision. I want to personally thank Tignes for their continued partnership, and we look forward to returning in 2022.”

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GB Snowsport are pleased to announce the squad for the 2021 Alpine World Championships, which are taking place in Cortina, Italy.

The Championships, taking place from 7th to 21st February, will see the following GB Snowsport compete across the individual and team events:

Ladies Team

Charlie Guest – Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Alex Tilley – Slalom, Super G, Giant Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Sarah Woodward – Individual Parallel (Reserve for Team Event)

Men’s Team

Billy Major – Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Laurie Taylor – Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event

Charlie Raposo – Giant Slalom, Individual and Team Event

Dave Ryding – Slalom

*Team Event final selection to be made after individual parallel event.

Paul Trayner Alpine Director, GB Snowsport “It has been such a difficult year for everyone, however, we go into this year’s World Championships with one of the strongest teams ever, after a season of top results. A World Cup podium for Dave, 3 Europa Cup winners and with Alex skiing consistently in the top 30 at World Cup level we have so much to look forward to in the next couple of weeks. It’s also great to see the group of young skiers vying for selection, scoring Europa Cup points and winning National Championships, ensuring that GBR continues to push forward to the Olympics and beyond.”

Dave Ryding, Alpine athlete “I am always very proud to represent Great Britain on the international stage, however with a major event such as the World Championships there is always the extra proudness and passion that comes with representing our amazing nation. Personally I am pretty experienced with such events and will look to leave everything I have on the hill come race day to make my nation proud. I am also very excited for the GB Snowsport Alpine team as a whole; we have some very talented skiers in our team and certainly, since I have been involved, it is by far our strongest team.”

We caught up with former GB Snowsport Alpine and Ski Cross athlete, and now host of the well known The Ski Racing Podcast, Ed Drake about his perspective on British skiing in 2021.

What are your thoughts on the current status of British Alpine Skiing?

British Skiing is in a great place at the moment, we now have multiple athletes pushing for World Cup success in almost every discipline. Dave Ryding is going from strength to strength, pulling Laurie and now Billy along as well, Raposo is on the cusp of picking up WC points in GS, and Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest are working hard to build on their success from the early part of this season.

How do you think ski racing has changed since you retired in 2016?

I think level of winning performance hasn’t changed too much since I retired but the depth of talent is insane right now, especially on the mens side, one tiny mistake can be the difference between a top 10 and being well outside the points!

You do your predictions for the coming events every week but do you have any predictions for the overall season, particularly in relation to the GB Snowsport Athletes?

I’m really hopefully for some big performances this coming season from the Brits. I truly believe that we will see another WC podium from Ryding this year and be back inside the top 7 in the standings come the end of the season. Tilley, if she can find some consistency, will be a regular within the top 15 in GS, I also think we will see a top 10 from her this year. Charlie Guest has scored her first WC points can only be good, now she can push on to becoming a regular in the top 30. Raposo been so close to scoring WC points, I think he will break his WC duck this season.

If anyone reading this is considering getting into competitive skiing, what words of advice would you offer them?

Dedication is 100% the biggest factor to success!! There will be highs and lows but its having the determination to strive for success no matter what!

Learn more:

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Hear from Dave ‘The Rocket’ Ryding about his World Cup podium in Adelboden over the weekend.

How does it feel to have reached the World Cup podium at this point in the season?

I am very happy to bounce back from an up and down start to the season. I knew once conditions started to suit me more I would be able to show exactly what I am capable of doing. Adelboden has not always been one of my best hunting grounds in the past but I always believe I am capable to be competitive in any race.

What do you think made this result possible?

This result comes after a lot of hard work not just from my coaching team but from the whole of GB Snowsport. They were amazing at getting me back out training in Europe as soon as safe to do so in the summer and I was able to have a seamless build up to the season. We obviously have to live in a very strict bubble now and I miss not being able to come home to see family and my partner Mandy since early November however I am very grateful to be able to continue racing through this tough time.

Crucial question, where are you going to keep your winning cow bell?

Errrm.. I’ m not sure yet.. we will either use it for last coffee orders in the cafe or between me and Mandy in bed, well for 1 or 2 nights then somewhere in the living room.

Plenty of your fans have said that this result has cheered them during difficult times January, how does that make you feel?

I appreciate many people in the UK are having hard times at the moment and the situation is affecting us all deeply. I hope my result puts a smile on UK faces and gives everyone a timely boost of energy and moral.

The Alpine Men’s Team have named themselves The Queen’s Men – can you tell us what you mean by that?

You will have to ask the younger lads.. I think this is their doing!

What’s next for the you and the Queen’s men?

I will look to focus on my skiing for the next upcoming Slalom races this weekend in Flachau so I best rest the body up and prepare for that rather than think about the result. But I’m looking forward to getting back out there and continuing to build momentum, especially after the last result. It is a very tightly contested sport at the moment so I have to ski well before I think about more podiums.

What’re you most looking forward to about the rest of the season?

Just to show some good skiing in the races like in Adelboden, but also to race with the younger GB Snowsport guys again! It is great to have some teammates around as it really picks the mood up. We are a close team so surrounding yourself with team mates like that really helps. Also, I am also looking forward to skiing great too.

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Congratulations on a huge couple of weeks of racing, including your first ever Europa Cup podium where you placed first, rapidly followed by a second place the following day. How’re you feeling after this success, have you had time to digest? 

To be honest it still feels a little unreal and it feels really strange to think I’m leading the Slalom standings, when I was starting bib 91 at the start of the season. Maybe once the new points take affect it will start to feel real.

What’s the atmosphere like in the Men’s Alpine team at the moment, with both you and Billy Major taking Europa Cup podium spots, smashing PBs and now racing in the World Cup, is it a competitive atmosphere?

The atmosphere on the team is really good. We’re all able to push each other on the hill while still keeping the mood light and having fun. It’s definitely competitive but at the same time we’re all rooting for each other.

What’s next for you in terms of your racing, is there anything you’re planning to work on?

Next up for us is the double slalom World Cup on Kitzbühel, which I’m really excited for. We have a few training days first where I’ll be working on being disciplined in staying over my feet.

In the Covid era what’s your favourite way to celebrate a big win?

A nice meal with the team.

How does it feel to be part of the newly named The Queen’s Men?

It feels good to put a name to it. It makes me feel more patriotic and gives more of a team feeling to this individual sport. Other teams have their own nicknames that bind them, so Billy thought of The Queen’s Men.

After an impressive start to 2021 with his first ever Europa Cup win, we caught up with Billy Major about the past few weeks and his transition to World Cup racing.

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What a start to the year for you Billy! Would you have predicted you’d be smashing your way through PBs and onto the Europe Cup podium in the first week of 2021?

I finished off 2020 on a high, racing in my first World Cup slalom races. I was able to go back to my parents in France for the Christmas break which was really nice and is actually Val Cenis, where the Europa Cups took place. I went into the Europa Cups wanting to put down some strong skiing and get some top 15 results, which I would have been happy with considering my bib number, 44. The first day, finishing 7th and scoring my first Europa cup points gave me a lot of confidence for the second day. To go and win in the resort where I learnt to ski was just amazing and “in front of a home crowd”.

What was it like to share the podium in Val Cenis with your teammate Laurie Taylor?

To share the podium with Laurie, was that little cherry on top. Skiing is a very individual sport, with individual results at the end of the day but when teammates do well, it is a great positive spiral that benefits everyone. So to have a British 1 and 2 was great for the whole team and made the day even more special. 

And following your success at the tail end of last year how does it feel to have now competed in your first World Cup races?

Now having competed in 3 World Cup races, it has made me hungry to race in more. I want to be able to show some fast skiing and really enjoy racing at the highest level in ski racing and learning from everyone around me.

The Alpine Men’s Team have named themselves The Queen’s Men – can you tell us a bit about that?

The Queen’s Men is just a little nickname I would say to give the team a bit of an identity and a team feeling. Like any football team or rugby team, they all have a team name on top of their official one. When you see all the other big ski nations like Norway, that have Attacking Vikings everywhere, we thought we could have a little name too. 

After a tough year in 2019, and a disrupted and strange 2020 what lessons are you taking with you into the 2020/21 season?

I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from the past two seasons. In 2019, I fell short of my own and others’ expectations and had to bounce back from that disappointment. Last season was actually a good season for me, I made World Cup points in both GS and Slalom and broke back into the top 30 in World Cup GS. I am much more comfortable in myself, able to make decisions confidently, knowing what is best for me. I think it really showed last year that what is most important to me is that I am happy with my environment and team, and that is when I get the best out of myself. So I’ll definitely be taking that forward into the coming season.

Your first race in on the 17th of October, how’re you feeling about it?

I’m feeling good about the first race in Sölden. Obviously, things will be very different this year with no crowds and extra precautions etc. but I’m just looking forward to standing in the start gate again. I think Sölden is one of the most impressive and difficult hills on the tour so it’s always fun and a privilege to get to ski it.

Has lockdown affected your training, have you found there to be any benefits to taking some forced time off snow earlier in the summer?

Truthfully, I planned to take a bigger break than usual after last season anyway, so it actually played into my hands a little bit in that sense. Of course it has effected training in the way that I did all of my sessions at home, but I have to say I think I’ve come into the ski season in the best shape I’ve ever been in and it has really allowed me to focus in on weaknesses that I had the extra time to address. I definitely feel like I made the most of that situation.

You’ve said in the past you’re always hungry for more, what are your aims for this season?

My aims for this season are to ski my best in competitions. Last season I got very ill in November and it dragged right through to January, and we always felt like it was a balancing act of getting the best out that I could, but knowing I wasn’t 100%. There will always be hurdles like that along the way but this year I really just want to do myself justice and make the people who have stood by me proud, like Quinn Estates who will continue to be my head sponsor for the coming season.

What’s your plan moving forward?

My plan after Sölden will be to get ready for the next races in Lech and Levi. It will probably make more sense for me to stay out in Europe as much as possible this season to avoid too much travel and restrictions that come with that, so I will be making myself at home with Team Evolution and enjoying the flexibility that comes with that.

Do you have a hobby away from skiing?

I enjoy pretty much all sports, football was always a passion of mine from a young age. This year I’m taking our fantasy premier league very seriously, so I’m looking forward to winning the bragging rights from that!

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