The 2018/19 season is starting to heat up with more action throughout the week and over the weekend. Earlier in the week there was Para Snowboard World Cup action in Landgraaf, the Alpine World Cup continues this weekend in Levi while the Cross Country team is in Norway for the traditional season-opening races in Beitostolen.

FIS Alpine World Cup, Levi FIN – Sunday 18 November

Olympians Dave Ryding and Laurie Taylor will open their 2018/19 campaigns in Finland on Sunday when the first World Cup slalom race of the season takes place in Levi, Finland.

Last year’s season-opener was a mixed one for three-time Olympian Ryding who led the field through the first run and was on track for his second career podium before skiing out midway through the second run.

Levi has proved somewhat of a happy hunting ground for Ryding who scored a sixth-place finish in 2016 and has two Europa Cup top tens to his credit at the venue.

The 31-year-old who recorded two top 10 results at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, is confident of putting in a good performance on the back of a strong pre-season.

“There is a bit of unfinished business, but I try not to dwell on it too much. Last year is done and you’ve got to move on, but we’re in a pretty solid place right now,” said Ryding.

“It’s the first race of the season so you don’t know where everyone else is at, but I’ve had a good preparation – no massive differences to what we’ve done in the past but I feel better in the body which is good.”

For the first time in a long time Ryding has had a teammate alongside him throughout the off-season with Taylor gearing up for his first full World Cup campaign. Having made the flip into the top 30 on his Olympic debut in February, the 22-year-old is on the verge of taking his next big step in the sport and has been a positive influence in the British camp.

“I’ve been doing it on my own for the last seven years, so I didn’t know what it was going to be like having Laurie around, whether it would effect the way we do things but it’s been the opposite – I’m grateful he’s here with me now,” said Ryding. “He’s a good guy, he does what he needs to do and has the right focus.”

The FIS Alpine World Cup men’s slalom from Levi will be broadcast on Eurosport UK and Eurosport Player on Sunday at 9am (first run) and 12pm (second run).


FIS Cross Country Races, Beitostolen NOR – Friday 16 to Sunday 18 November

While this weekend’s cross country event in Beitostolen is not a World Cup, the entire Norwegian national team are vying for World Cup selection which brings a high standard of competition and provides the British contingent a good idea of where they are at going into the start of a long 2018/19 campaign.

Andrew Musgrave led the British charge in today’s classic races, finishing seventh in the men’s 15km amongst a field laden with Olympic medallists. Andrew Young finished 31st out of 146 starters, while Annika Taylor was the leading Brit in the ladies’ 10km in 21st; Nichole Bathe was 33rd.

Tomorrow’s skate sprint will feature all four of today’s competitors as well as James Clugnet while Musgrave, Young, Clugnet and Taylor are scheduled to start Sunday’s 10km/15km skate races.


IPC Para Snowboard World Cup, Landgraaf NED – Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15 November

On Wednesday, PyeongChang Paralympian James Barnes-Miller opened the World Cup season with a fourth-place finish in Landgraaf, just 0.11sec away from a first-ever podium in snowboard banked slalom (upper-limb impairment). He also recorded a top 10 finish yesterday in yesterday’s second race.

In the lower-limb impairment 2 category, Andy MacLeod made his World Cup debut and scored a ninth-place finish on Wednesday amongst a field stacked with Paralympians. He finished further back in the field in Thursday’s race but proved he has what it takes to cut it at the top level.

The snowboard results continue a strong run of British form in Landgraaf after 15-year-old visually-impaired skier Nick Simpson (and sighted guide, brother Andrew Simpson) finished first and third in a pair of Europa Cup slalom races last week.

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