It came as no surprise when Dave Ryding secured a record eighth Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championship title on Friday, but that is not to say the Slalom star was content with his performance on the piste.
Coming into this week’s Championships in Tignes, the Chorley man was the one everyone wanted to watch in action following his World Cup silver medal success in January – and he did not disappoint.
Competing in the UVEX British National Championships Slalom, a combined run time of 1:26.70 saw Ryding climb atop the podium.
But it was not enough to replicate the feat in the international race, finishing in third behind a French one-two – a result Ryding soon came to rue.
“I’m very happy to win the British Championships, but not so happy with my skiing,” he said.
“I was probably a bit nervous to be honest, and that’s full respect to the younger guys because they are getting better and better.
“I’ve got more of a challenge on my hands these days, and I know if I ski like that next year, I won’t win.”
With his racing now over for the season, there is no rest for the wicked as Ryding turns his attentions to summer training.
He insists he still has plenty to give, but it is his self-belief Ryding admits needs the most work.
“Maybe getting beaten in the last race of the season was a good omen, and I think it will make me work harder, not that I need that push,” he said.
“I just have to learn again, and maybe start to believe in myself a bit more. I want to get better, and go into next season fitter, healthier and hopefully skiing better than I was this season.
“I put too much pressure on myself when I am approaching races. It makes me a bit more nervous.
“But that just shows that I want to win. Everyone has ups and downs, so I just need to get better and then start believing in myself.”
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