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Friday January 25, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

James Woods is on the Big Air podium, GB has the new Junior World Halfpipe Champion & there's a win in the telemark World Cup. UPDATED

What a few days for GB Snowsport.

The governing body is celebrating a highly successful weekend with impressive results across the disciplines including Woodsy's X-Games bronze, the crowning of a Junior World Champion and a World Cup victory.

The latest success came in the prestigious X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

The invitation-only event is seen as the most important event in the calendar for the freestylers.

In the early hours of Sunday morning UK time, James 'Woodsy' Woods  won bronze in the Ski Big Air.

He made the podium on his final jump of the competition which was enough to push him up into third place by just one point, with a score of 82.00.

Birk Ruud of Norway won gold (89.00) and Canadian Alex Beaulieu-Marchand the silver (87.00).

X Games Ski Big Air podium 2019X Games Ski Big Air podium

It's his fifth X Games medal and the third year in the row that he's been on the X Games Big Air podium.

He won the event in 2017 and was third last year.

Woodsy also went in the Ski Slopestyle final on Sunday evening UK time but unfortunately made mistakes on the rail section in each of his three runs and finished 10th.

Alex Hall (USA) won the gold.

Canada's Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (Canada) picked up his second silver of the Games, and Ferdinand Dahl (Norway) won bronze.

On Saturday there was a big victory for another British freeskier.

17-year-old Connie Brogden announced herself as a star of the future, becoming the Junior World Halfpipe champion at Leysin in Switzerland. 

World Junior Halfpipe podiumWorld Junior ski halfpipe podium

Having finished tenth at the 2018 Junior World Championships in New Zealand, Brogden was hopeful of improving on that result against a field which was predominantly ranked inside the world's top 50.

She started in the best way possible, scoring 87.8 on her first run to take the lead, which could not be matched.

"I had a lot of fun competing here in Switzerland," said Brogden.

"It's been a great trip.

"I was happy to put down one of my best runs, and it all worked out."

Connie BrogdenConnie Brogden, Junior World Ski Halfpipe Champion


















Brogden has become the second British skier to win the halfpipe Junior World Championship following Molly Summerhayes' victory in 2015.

Summerhayes' 2018 Olympic teammate Rowan Cheshire claimed a bronze medal in the event in 2013.

Just ahead of the weekend telemark skier Jasmin Taylor picked up her fifth World Cup victory, her first this season and the first of the season for GB Snowsport. 

It came in the ladies' sprint at Pralognan-la-Vanoise in France.

Jasmin TaylorWorld Cup victory for Jasmin Taylor

After carrying a 3.24sec lead into the second run, Taylor was able to hold on to her lead to win by 0.79sec from Switzerland's Amelie Reymond and Beatrice Zimmerman.

It is the first time Taylor has beaten Telemark legend Reymond.

"It was a really good race," said Taylor, after recording her fifth-career win. "[It was] quite stressful to be the last down on the second run but I tried to stay focused and it was enough."

She had another chance at success in the classic race on Saturday.

But she just missed the podium, finishing 4th as Amelie Reymond was back to winning ways, picking up her 135th World Cup victory.

The weekend also saw some other impressive top 10s for GB.
  • Izzy Atkin was 5th in the Ski Slopestyle at the X Games in Aspen
  • Snowboarder Matt McCormick finished a career-best 8th at the Slopestyle World Cup in Seiser Alm (see more below)
  • Cross country skier Andrew Musgrave clocked up another top 10 in a World Cup 15km free race at Ulricehamn - his fourth top 10 this year (see more below)

Izzy AtkinIzzy Atkin 5th at the X Games

Matt McCormickMatt McCormick a career-best 8th at Seiser Alm

As well as all that, the young ski cross racer Ollie Davies, who is the current Junior World Ski Cross champion, had his best ever World Cup result, finishing 16th in Blue Mountain, Canada.

It's also the best ever GB result in men's World Cup Ski Cross.

And in alpine, Dave Ryding was 15th in the World Cup slalom at Kitzbuhel.
Kitzbuhel World Cup Slalom - Saturday 26th January

At the venue where slalom skier Dave Ryding took an historic silver in 2017, he finished 15th in Saturday's race. 

He improved on his first run position of 18th, moving up three places on the leaderboard in Kitzbuhel.

Dave RydingDave Ryding run 2

The race was won by the young Frenchman, Clement Noel, who beat the world number one, Marcel Hirscher from Austria, for the second week running.

The 21-year-old from Val d'Isere took his first World Cup victory in Wengen last weekend and followed it up in the same fashion today in Hirscher's backyard.

Alexis Pinturault, also of France, was third.

Hirscher did well to finish second, having been only 9th after an odd first run.

Only 40 of the 79 racers were able to finish it.

Britain's top alpine skier, Dave Ryding, was one of them, and was 1.73 seconds behind the leader, Switzerland's Ramon Zenhaeusern.

Dave RydingDave Ryding run 1














But the biggest shock was the skier in 5th after run one.

Bulgaria's Albert Popov.


He stormed up the leader board wearing bib number 71.

Has anyone ever done that from so low down the start list, we wonder?

Kitzbuhel slalom first run placesSurely some mistake - Kitzbuhel first run
















Popov, who is just 21, is not a complete outsider.

He was 16th in the Madonna di Campiglio World Cup in December, 20th in Levi in November and is a Junior World Championships medallist.

He ended up 9th after the two runs - his best ever World Cup result.

GB's number two, Laurie Taylor, failed to finish the first run, straddling a gate towards the end.

Dave Ryding went on social media to give his verdict of the race:

Kitzbühel was extreme this year.. I threw what i had at it but finding the tempo was unbelievably tough! 15th is still respectable and the crowd was unreal! The show must go on and Schladming is soon. The Brits were out in force and im extremely grateful to see all the flags and support for myself and @laurietaylorski

In what is the most-highly attended few days of racing throughout the season, the skiers will quickly move onto Schladming on Tuesday.

Ryding finished 12th in Schladming last year with his best result coming the year prior when he backed up his second place at Kitzbuhel with a top 10 in ‘The Nightrace'.

Slopestyle World Cup, Seiser Alm Italy

Snowboarder Matt McCormick was guaranteed his best-ever World Cup result after a stunning effort in qualifying in the slopestyle on Thursday in Seiser Alm.

The 21-year-old nailed a 85.75 score on his first run which was good enough for second place in his heat.

It pushed him straight past the semi-final stage and directly into Saturday's slopestyle final where he was bound to improve on his previous best World Cup placing of 17th in the Czech Republic two years ago.

Matt McCormickMatt McCormick after qualifying for the final

In the final he didn't quite match his score from qualification.  Had he done so, it would have been enough to get him on the podium in 2nd place.

His best run scored 71.90, enough to finish 8th in his first World Cup final.

In the ski slopestyle World Cup on Friday, Sam Ward finished 12th in his heat and won't progress through to Sunday's semi-finals.

Cross Country World Cup, Ulricehamn, Sweden

Andrew Musgrave had his first competitive hit-out in three weeks on Saturday when he competed at the World Cup in Sweden.

The three-time Olympian has had a break from competition since the Tour de Ski but on Saturday was on start line in the 15km free at Ulricehamn, and finished 10th.

Musgrave has competed at the venue just once before when he finished sixth in a 15km free World Cup in 2017.

"I've got good memories from here from two years ago," said Musgrave before the race.

"A good race, awesome atmosphere and great crowds."

Andrew MusgraveAndrew Musgrave
















After competing at the Norwegian Cup, Dresden World Cup and U23 World Championships in recent weeks, other members of the GB Cross Country squad bypassed the event ahead of the Norwegian national championships.

Cross country U23/Junior World Championships, Lahti, Finland

The World Under 23 and Junior World Cross Country Championships wrapped up for the British contingent in Finland where James Clugnet recorded the squad's best results with 31st in the U23 classic sprint and 55th in Wednesday's 15km free.

Fellow U23 skier Hamish Wolfe was 70th in sprint qualifying and 76th in the 15km free.

Under 20 skier Oliver Newman was 87th in the classic sprint, 93rd in the 10km free and 63rd in the 30km classic mass start.

Moguls World Cup, Tremblant, Canada

Makayla Gerken Schofield scored the best result of the GB Moguls contingent at Mont Tremblant on Saturday, however none of the five-strong squad were able to move through to the finals.

Makayla finished 24th to secure World Cup points for the fifth time this season.

Thomas Gerken Schofield was the best-placed skier in the men's draw in 31st, while Will Feneley was 48th on his World Cup debut.

Mont Tremblant was the final World Cup prior to the World Championships in Park City, Utah.

Para Alpine World Championships, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia & Sella Nevea, Italy

The technical events from the 2019 World Para Alpine Championships wrapped up in Kranjska Gora with Menna Fitzpatrick and guide Jen Kehoe coming away with slalom silver and giant slalom bronze.

Kelly Gallagher and guide Gary Smith finished fourth in both events, while young gun Neil Simpson and guide Jamie Robertson recorded DNFs in their races.

James Whitley earned two top 10s in the standing categories.

The speed events will commence in Italy on Tuesday.

What else to look out for this week, beginning Monday 28th January...

Telemark - The World Cup tour has moved onto Pra Loup with three races over next four days including the first parallel sprint of the season. The GB Telemark team at the event will consist of Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell and Ben Emsley.

Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Championships - They get underway in Utah on Friday 1st February.  We'll be bringing you more news on this shortly.

Cross country - The GB team will be competing at the Norwegian National Championships at the weekend.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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