Historic silver for Ryding
Chorley's Dave Ryding admitted he was in disbelief after claiming Britain's first World Cup alpine medal since 1981.
The 30-year-old clinched silver in the men’s slalom at Kitzbuhel on Sunday, the first time a British World Cup alpine medal has been won since Konrad Bartelski’s downhill silver in Val Gardena in Italy 36 years ago.
Ryding, who hails from Bretherton, held a lead of 0.29 seconds over Italy’s Stefano Gross after the first run, with Gross then crashing out early in the second run in the famous Austrian resort.
That left home favourite Marcel Hirscher as the man to beat - but 30-year-old Ryding quickly lost his advantage of 1.02secs and eventually finished 0.76s adrift.
Ryding said: “It is an insane feeling. After the first run I knew I had skied it clean, but couldn’t believe it when I crossed the finish line.
“Between the runs I tried to keep my heart rate down and tried to forget I would be the last man down on the second run.
“After the second run I just thought to myself ‘I’ve done it!’. Hirscher skied so well, so coming second almost felt like a victory.
“I have so much respect for all the British skiers winning World Cup points, but to have got this result is just amazing.
“Although I knew Kitzbuhel would suit me I wasn’t expecting a podium this season. But I am a consistent skier and I have been in the top 15 or 10 consistently this season so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
“This result is for my supporters, family, girlfriend, sponsors and of course my coaches. They do the work of two men and they have made this possible.
“Having a funded programme makes a huge difference and I hope this result will be a big boost for British skiing.”