Dave Ryding has had arguably the best season of his skiing career to date, and will once again head to the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships as a heavy favourite in the slalom.
But in the long-term, the Pendle skier has his sights set on the loftier ambition of consistently breaking into the top 10 in the world.
Ryding has shown that he belongs on the biggest stage this season, with four top-20 finishes in World Cup events, including a career-best 12th place in Val d’Isere in mid-December.
He followed that up by coming 13th at Santa Caterina Valfurva less than a month later, and while the 29-year-old is understandably ecstatic with his form, he is adamant there is even more to come from him: “It has been a fantastic season for me with four top 20 finishes and the rest top 30s.
“Of course I’m looking towards top 10s now and I don’t see why I can’t do that. I’ve finished 12th in a race this year, so moving up two places is certainly not that far-fetched.
“I look at the guys getting in the top 10 and I know I can match that.”
The Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships takes place in the world-class resort of Tignes, France from Sunday to April 1st and sees the best of Britain go head to head.
With his status as undisputed British number one, Ryding heads into the slalom as favourite, and looking to defend the title he won 12 months ago.
The Pendle Ski Club star claims he is used to the pressure that tag brings, but is keen to see a slew of young British skiers step up and finally give him a serious challenge: “At the Nationals there is a different pressure for me. Everyone expects me to win and I put pressure on myself – I don’t want to give up that National title.
“I’ve not got much to gain. but I’ve got it all to lose because everyone is shooting for me as the favourite. I’ve had it for the last two or three years .
“I’m looking forward to racing people like Charlie Raposo and Jai Geyer and seeing how they’re getting on.
“I really hope they can step up and challenge me because it is a lot more fun when you’ve got people pushing you.”
l To follow the progress of the Delancey British Alpine Ski Team visit www.teambss.org.uk or follow @teambss on Twitter.
As Principal Sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard, Delancey is proud to be able to provide British athletes with the support they require to win World Cup and Winter Olympic medals. For more information visit www.delancey.com