It has taken years of hard graft but Chorley alpine skier Dave Ryding is finally on the verge of cracking the World Cup’s top 30.
Yet Britain’s No.1 slalom skier insists he has not yet reached his peak at the age of 28.
The two-time Olympian took to Tignes’ slopes for the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships and, despite snowfall and poor visibility making for difficult conditions in the slalom, Ryding finished more than a second ahead of the rest of the field, gliding home in an aggregate time of 1.19.73mins.
It capped a fine season for Ryding, who achieved superb World Cup results in December – 16th and 17th places in Madonna di Campiglio and Are respectively – before tailing off slightly into the New Year.
But with a number of competitors on the World Cup start list set to retire, Ryding, from Leyland, will almost certainly be lining up inside the top 30 next season.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve peaked yet – there are about seven guys in the top 30 who are 35 years or older,” said Ryding.
“So the sport’s getting older for some reason which makes it harder to battle in there and, as long as I can keep believing and have the fight for it, I can improve for a long time yet.
“I’m 31st on the World Cup start list at the moment but for next year I should start in the 30s with a few people retiring.
“It’s massively important, breaking into the top 30 is what everyone is trying to do and when you do it you’ve got to make sure you come properly ready and kick on from there.
“Once you start solidifying yourself in there the pressure will hopefully get a bit less and then you can ski more loose.
“Top-15 results are definitely achievable after the 16th and 17th, and being ranked in the top 30 at the end of next year is certainly the priority.”
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