He may have a World Cup slalom podium to his name this year, but skier Dave Ryding is anticipating a fight to win at the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships this weekend in Tignes, France.
The 30-year-old from Chorley, who learned to ski at Pendle Ski Club, made history in January as the first Brit in 35 years to score an alpine skiing podium, when he finished second in Austria.
Ryding, who also registered four other top 10 World Cup finishes this season, is out to collect an eighth national title, but is wary of Britain’s up and coming slalom skiers.
“I’d actually say it’s probably going to be the hardest British Champs for me to win because we’ve got a couple of really good skiers now coming through,” he said.
“I’m calling it as a really tough challenge and a tough race. They will be right up for it, it’s the biggest race of their season and I’m coming off a busy schedule, so I’ll certainly be trying my best and I think it will be a very good race.”
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games, in Pyeongchang, Korea, is less than a year away.
However he insists he is not thinking that far ahead, yet: “I didn’t really have any preconceptions of what it was going to be like, because I hadn’t really expected to be on the podium this year, if ever in my life.
“I never thought I would say it but it was a life changing moment. The next day people were recognising me around Austria and the media and press were very interested in my story.
“Obviously there’s a big highlighted marker around that Olympic race, now, but first I’ve got to get another good summer of training under my belt.”
l To follow the Delancey British Alpine Ski Team visit www.teambss.org.uk or follow @teambss on Twitter.