Great Britain’s number one alpine skier is still waiting to break into the top 10 this season. He has his next chance in just 3 days.


It was a case of New Year blues for Dave Ryding and many of the world’s top racers in Croatia.

Several of them struggled on the first run.

Ryding was lying in 24th position by the time all the skiers had gone, almost two seconds off the pace set by the fastest skier, Switzerland’s Ramon Zenhaeusern.

Even the Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen, who started the day at the top of the World Cup slalom rankings,  was way down in 22nd.

And France’s Alexis Pinturault, who won the slalom in Val d’Isere last month, was in 14th.

So what could they – and in particular the Rocket Ryding – do under the floodlights on run 2?

Dave Ryding, Zagreb, Jan 2020

Dave Ryding in the start gate

Well, Ryding did manage to pick up some places, moving into the top 20 and finishing 18th.

Pinturault finished 9th and Kristoffersen was joint 19th.

Clement Noel of France won the race, moving him up into first place in the standings.

Ramon Zenhauesern of Switerland was second and Alex Vinatzer of Italy third.

It’s been a frustrating early season for 33-year-old Ryding.

After going into the final run in the opening race of the season in Levi in second place, he crashed out and failed to finish.

In the French resort of Val d’Isere – where he has never achieved a top 10 spot – he was 17th.

He would have been hoping to get into the top 10 in Zagreb.

He was 11th there last year and 7th in the previous two seasons.

Dave Ryding - photo GB Snowsport

Dave Ryding – photo GB Snowsport Facebook

Ryding will have a lot of opportunities to pick up more World Cup points in the next few weeks.

The next race – the Madonna di Campiglio night slalom in Italy-  is just three days away and then it’s a quick dash to Switzerland for the Adelboden slalom four days later.

Fingers crossed that the Rocket can return to top form and power his way to success.

He’s been on the World Cup podium twice in his career, the most recent was in January 2019 when he finished 2nd in the Oslo parallel slalom.

Can he do it again in 2020?