Ryding frustrated but proud after finishing 17th

Olympic skier Dave Ryding from Bretherton, Chorley'Picture PAUL SIMPSON'10th May 2012
Olympic skier Dave Ryding from Bretherton, Chorley'Picture PAUL SIMPSON'10th May 2012

Colne-based skier Dave Ryding was left frustrated after finishing 17th in the men’s slalom at the Winter Olympics last Saturday.

Team GB’s sole male Alpine skiing representative admitted he will be “kicking himself” after being caught out by one of the gates on his second run.

The 27-year-old was 27th after the opening run in a time of 49.40 seconds, but he made an error on his second run - alhough he was able to continue and clock 56.51 to finish 17th with an overall time of 1:45.91 minutes.

It was a course that defeated many of the world’s top racers, with only 45 of 117 making it down the course twice.

Ryding finished just over four seconds behind gold medallist Mario Matt.

Austrian Marcel Hirscher finished second, while Norwegian teenager Henrik Kristofferson took bronze.

Ryding told BBC Sport: “I knew all about it.

“I knew what to do but I got kicked out

“It’s frustrating, because if I hadn’t made that mistake, I could have done well.

“I’ll be kicking myself for the rest of my life.

“The first run I skied cautiously on the top because it was really bumpy, but I was able to charge a bit lower down and finished 27th and stayed 27th.

“I’m still getting better and I’m sure I could have a better result, but still, that’s life.”

He added: “I am pretty gutted. I made a schoolboy error really. I knew about it, I knew what to do, and I did the wrong thing.

“Other than that it was a really good run but it was over before I could even have a shot.

“It’s a really, really tough course. It’s a good course, it’s so challenging but it’s a hard course and it would have suited me.

“I was aiming to get top 30 and then as you can see absolutely anything can happen. I’ve said that all along, you never know what’s going to happen in this sport.”

Ryding, who hails from Bretherton, near Leyland, has a base in Colne, as he trains at Pendle Ski Club.

Sochi was a second Olympic Games for Ryding, who beat his 27th-place finish in Vancouver four years ago.

He said on facebook: “Thanks for all the support! It was an epic night, frustrating at the same time as truly awesome!

“My goal was to get into the top 30 and then have a real shot at the second run. I wanted to give 100% to the course and I knew I had to be sensible in places, unfortunately I messed up the hardest part but I’m glad I can say I gave it my all.”