More history made as Britain’s record-breaking season continues
As another weekend of high drama on the slopes came to a close, GB Snowsport athletes could look back on another history-making achievement in a season which has seen records set across the globe. For the first time in history, every single discipline under the GB Snowsport banner has delivered a World Cup, World Championships, or X Games podium – a record which includes no fewer than nine gold medals.
Cementing the record was Ollie Davies, who produced a sensational performance in the second of two Ski Cross World Cup races in Reiteralm, Austria, to take silver and the first podium of his five-year World Cup career. Coming off the back of a promising 12th place in the week’s first World Cup, Davies was blisteringly fast across the Finals, with his final run leaving him just 0.43s behind the veteran Swiss Jonas Lenherr who took the fifth World Cup victory of his career. Davies’ performance comes just days before he sets out for the World Championships in Bakuriani, for a competition which catapulted him to the highest reaches of the sport in 2021, where he took a surprise fourth place in Idre Fjall and proved his ability to mix it with the very best in the world.
There were more podiums in the Para Snowboard set-up, where James Barnes-Miller took World Cup gold and Nina Sparks Europa Cup gold in Grasgehren. Poor weather conditions meant the loss of the weekend’s second set of races, but the results left Barnes-Miller with a scarcely believable six podiums including four victories in his last six World Cup competitions, and well out in front of the Men’s Snowboard Cross SB-UL World Cup FIS points list, with a gap of almost 2000 WC points to his nearest rival, Italy’s Jacopo Luchini, while Nina Sparks also tops the women’s SB-LL2 Europa Cup rankings with 2200 points for the season to date.
At the Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel, Charlie Raposo put a difficult season behind him to take an excellent 17th place in the Giant Slalom race, with a second run which saw him briefly take the leader’s chair. His second run time of 1:14.44 was bettered by only seven skiers in the whole race, including winner Marco Odermatt, and showed conclusively Raposo’s ability to deliver on the biggest stages.
In the Men’s Slalom, Dave Ryding had the pick of the results with a 13th place finish, with Billy Major joining him inside the top-30, finishing 28th, and Laurie Taylor just outside coming 33rd. Ed Guigonnet also qualified for the second run, before recording a DNF. Ryding’s finishing time of 1:40.32 left him 0.82 behind Henrik Kristoffersen, who topped the podium for Norway, with Ryding delivering a characteristically fast second run, the fifth quickest in the field. Away from the World Championships, Laurie Taylor also took seventh in Europa Cup in Berchtesgaden.
The Women’s Slalom saw Charlie Guest finish just outside the top-30 with a 31st place finish, having battled back from injury to take her position in the starting gate. Victoria Palla, on her World Championships debut, took an impressive 36th spot while Reece Bell and Alex Tilley, both of whom have also been on the comeback from injury this season, registered DNF in the second and first runs respectively.
Tilley qualified for the second run in the Women’s Giant Slalom before lodging a DNF, while the pick of the Championships’ other results came in the Alpine Combined, where Owen Vinter took 17th place and Ed Guigonnet 22nd. In the Downhill, Roy Steudle took 39th, while Calum Langmuir’s World Championships debut saw him take 38th in Super G.
In Telemark, Jaz Taylor added another World Cup podium to her career record with third place in the Sprint World Cup in Aal, with 19th, eighth, and sixth place finishes in two Classic and one Parallel Sprint races. Sissi Compton took four top-20 finishes with two twentieth places, a nineteenth, and an eighteenth.
All eyes now turn to the Freestyle World Championships in Bakuriani, where the first day of official competition for British athletes comes on Thursday with the Ski Cross qualifiers.