The Rocket Races Again

Dave Ryding competed in the Schladming night slalom on Monday night but came down the field in 20th place. However another Brit, Billy Major, made the second run for the first time, won some World Cup points and even beat Dave Ryding. It was the last slalom race before the Olympics.

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Ryding was outside the top ten after the first run and in the second run there was no sign of his traditional charge.

GB’s latest sporting hero was unable to repeat his weekend performance in Kitzbühel.

He came 20th and was perhaps saving his powder for the Olympics, as any injury would have been the worst possible outcome.

British eyes turned to the racer who has been somewhat in his shadow, Billy Major.

It seems he was inspired by Dave Ryding’s win in Kitzbuhel last weekend and was in the top twenty in 18th position.

Perhaps British fans have had a glimpse of the future.

Here is his run:

Germany’s Linus Strasser won the race, and it was his third World Cup win.

The Norwegian Atle Lie McGrath was second with Manuel Feller from Austria in third place.

Like Dave Ryding, many of the big names were lower down the field.

Clement Noel from France was 9th, the Swiss racers Daniel Yule 15th and Austria’s Marco Schwarz came 17th.

Schladming was the sixth of nine slalom events in the World Cup season.

The night race in Schlading normally sees tens of thousands of people line the course and spill into the bars in the Austrian resort, and it is without question the most popular event of the slalom season.

More on the atmosphere and experience later in this article as PlanetSKI was there the last time large crowds were allowed back in 2020.

If you want to go to one slalom race to see what it is like then we recommend that you make it Schladming.

Schladming Night Race

Schladming Night Race. Image © PlanetSKI

Last Saturday in Kitzbühel Dave Ryding became the first British alpine skier to win a World Cup race.

It is now etched in the sporting history books and is the most impressive performance ever by a British skier.

His achievement has been reported across the world and has made front page news beyond Great Britain as he is admired across the skiing world by race fans and his fellow competitors alike.

Dave Ryding, Hahnenkamm slalom. Image © Juergen Klecha

Dave Ryding, Hahnenkamm slalom. Image © Juergen Klecha

No-one has a bad word to say about Dave Ryding.

Here is the experience of one of our readers, Martin Allinson, who is currently skiing in Austria.

“Whilst skiing in Saalbach today had a gondola ride up the mountain with a lovely friendly Austrian couple, they as are most Austrians, absolutely thrilled for Dave Ryding.

“Apparently the Austrian press love the whole story too, made me so proud to be a British skier.”

Schladming is like the FA Cup Final, the Wimbledon Final and the deciding match in the 6-Nations rugby all rolled into one.

Downhill ski racing has the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel and the Lauberhorn in Wengen.

Slalom has the night race in Schladming.

It is slalom skiing’s big night out, with the crowds there to enjoy the sporting spectacle and party like it is going out of fashion.

Sadly, the crowds weren’t be there last night due to rising cases of Covid-19 in Austria and strict rules in place.

Only 1,000 tickets were made available for spectators.

They were sold out within 3-minutes.

“Three minutes after the tickets for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup in Schladming for the legendary Nightrace were put online for public sale, they were already sold out,” said a statement from the organisers.

Here is what it looks like in normal times.

Night slalom, Schladming, Austria

Schladming Night Slalom, January 2020. Image © PlanetSKI.

Schladming night slalom

Schladming night slalom. Image c/o PlanetSKI

Schladming Night Race

Schladming Night Race. Image © PlanetSKI

See here for our full account from the event in 2020.

Two years ago Dave Ryding enjoyed our articles too.

Facebook reaction

And at the time our editor, James Cove, donned his ‘Dave Ryding Mask’.

Schladming Night Race

Schladming Night Race. Image © PlanetSKI

The resort has seen recent snowfall.

We have reported on the fresh snow in Austria in our latest snow report:

Despite Dave’s relative low result at the event on Monday night here at PlanetSKI we are simply delighted to see slalom ski racing reaching a wider sporting audience.

The athletes now head to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics from 4th February to 20th.

The slalom will take place on the last weekend.

The first event is the downhill.

Dare we dream of an Olympic victory for Dave Ryding?

You best!

It will be interesting to see how Billy Major does too.

See here for our look at the life and times of Dave Ryding from PlanetSKI’s Chief Reporter, Jane Peel:

Dave Ryding as a child – photo c/o Ryding family

Dave Ryding. Facebook image.

If you want to see more on Dave’s Kitzbühel success then check out the Ski Racing Podcast, brought to you by our good friends Ed Drake and Tord Nilson.

They discuss what this means for not only British skiing, but also for ski racers across the globe who don’t have access to snow on a daily basis.

Available to watch here and feel free to embed on websites: https://youtu.be/Ri_awbbmE-I 

Related Stories:

Beijing Needs to be Above Political Disputes

GB Skiers & Snowboarders Hoping to Shine At Beijing 2022

Image © PlanetSKI

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