On the opening day of the 2014 English Alpine Championships in Bormio, Italy, Colne’s Bethany Widdup claimed fourth place in the Under 21 FIS NJR Slalom.
Bethany said; “I’m really excited to be back in Bormio, and it’s great I’ve been able to start my week with such a positive result.”
The 18-year-old, has taken a year out from her studies, and her hard work is paying off.
Bethany finished fourth overall, behind three Italian racers, just three hundredths of a second off the podium, but was top British racer ahead of Darcie Mead, recently selected for the World Junior Championships, who was seventh overall, and Nicole Ritchie, in 11th .
Conditions in Bormio were not great for racers, with constant snow fall and fog, but Bethany, on the back of an impressive season, produced the goods, with a 56-point result - a career best in all disciplines, building on a 58.68 result in January in Bad Wiessee in Germany, in her first races of the season, finishing 21st and 16th.
She started the second run in 10th place, just behind Mead, but as a number of the leading racers crashed out on the second run, Bethany kept her composure and climbed up to fourth.
In preparation for the championships, in Villars, Switzerland, Bethany enjoyed a race win on the way to claiming first place overall in the slalom, while she was sixth overall in the giant slalom at Gryon.
Bethany skis for Ambition Racing, with her favourite discipline being slalom and giant slalom.
A member of the 2013-14 England Alpine Ski Team, Bethany has started the current season’s race programme in fine form with a number of podium places and personal bests.
She worked full time at Walkers Bakers in Skipton last summer to raise some funds for her winter season, and has now been backed by the Water Street business as her main sponsor.
She sports the Walkers Bakers and Chocolatiers logo on her ski helmet, as she competes in slalom, giant slalom and super G competitions.
Having won the 2012 British Indoor Ski Championships, she narrowly failed to defend her title in Manchester in October, finishing second overall by just 0.26 seconds.
However, she won her age group to become the British Indoor Under 21 champion.
Bethany, who caught the skiing bug while on a family holiday, has the ultimate ambition of qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics.