In a historic race for Britain, Dave Ryding finished second to Marcel Hirscher in the Kitzbuhel slalom at the weekend, putting him 5th in the World Cup Slalom standings. Russian skier, Alexander Khoroshilov, took the third-place spot to take his eighth career podium.
This result makes Ryding the first British skier to gain a World Cup podium spot since Konrad Bartelski came second in an Italian downhill in 1981. The achievement is all the more impressive because Alpine skiing has received no financial support from UK Sport since funding was withdrawn in 2010.
The Sunday slalom marked the conclusion of the Hahnenkamm week, one of the big classics of the World Cup circuit. The race was was run on the challenging Ganslern course, where several big names failed reach the finish line. Henrik Kristoffersen, Manfred Moelgg and André Myhrer all skied out in the first run. Ryding put down the fastest time, 0.29 seconds ahead of Italy’s Stefano Gross. Khoroshilov lay fourth, 0.76 seconds off the pace while Hirscher trailed in ninth place, 1.02 seconds behind.
In the second run, Hirscher pulled out all the stops in a high risk run that put him 0.76 seconds ahead of Ryding to take the 20th World Cup slalom win of his career. Ryding’s solid second run performance let him hang on to second place ahead of Khoroshilov.
Hailing from the tiny Lancashire village of Bretherton, Ryding learnt to ski on plastic at his local dry slope. Now aged 30, he has represented Great Britain at the last two Winter Olympics and won the Europa Cup slalom title for the 2013 winter season.