Lancashire's Dave Ryding 'lost for words' at making British skiing history in alpine World Cup

  • Sports Correspondent Mike Hall asks Dave Ryding if his historic win has sunk in yet.

Skier Dave Ryding says he was "lost for words" after making history by becoming the first Briton to win an alpine skiing World Cup race.

The Lancashire-born star sped to victory in the slalom event in Kitzbuhel in Austria on Saturday, fending off stiff competition from the Alpine nation favourites.

The 35 year old, who got the bug for skiing on a dry slope on Pendle Hill as a youngster, told Granada Reports that the title was "more than I ever dreamed of as a kid."

Dave will be back in action today (January 25) as he takes part in the World Cup Slalom in Austria.

Dave celebrates his win on the podium along with Lucas Braathen and Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway who took second and third places. Credit: PA

It is the first time in the alpine race's 55 year history that the top medal spot has been taken by a Brit.

It came just one day after Ryding, from Bretherton, was named as part of the GB squad for the Beijing Winter Olympics which start on February 4. It will be his fourth Games.

Asked about his chances now of getting a medal in China, he replied: "I just know that I’m doing the right things. I’ve got to keep this old body going for another three weeks before I even think about another medal… Whatever I do in Beijing I will come back as a World Cup winner."

The race in Kitzbuhel is the biggest slalom event on the men's World Cup circuit. Credit: PA

Ryding's two runs in Austria on Saturday clocked in at one minute and 41.26 seconds, 0.38 seconds ahead of Norwegian Lucas Braathen, with his teammate Henrik Kristoffersen third.

He was in sixth place after his first run of 51.40 seconds, but claimed gold with a fantastic characteristic second run charge of 49.86 seconds.

Dave was seen kissing the snow after he crossed the finish line and later said, "I never stopped believing, I never stopped trying, and to bring the first victory for Great Britain in a World Cup, in Kitzbuhel... I mean, I don't know if dreams are made better."

  • Victoria Grimes spoke to Dave's parents and his partner in Lancashire.

Dave's mum Shirley Ryding told Granada Reports, "Dave has said it all - it's all down to his Northern Grit and determination. As parents we have supported him and are extremely proud of him and all the team behind him. It's a fantastic achievement and we are thrilled."

"The champagne has been in and out of the fridge for too long - it's about time we can celebrate!"

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The congratulations were quick to pour in on social media, with Team GB calling his win 'sensational'.

Former Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott was in the finish area and said it was 'mindblowing'.

GB Snowsport meanwhile teased ahead to the coming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Ryding was already Britian's most successful ever alpine racer, with three World Cup podiums to his name.

The win marks his fourth World Cup podium, the second one in Kitzbuhel, where he placed second in 2017.

Dave pictured at Pendle dry ski slope in Lancashire, where he first learnt how to ski. Credit: PA

He picked up another silver in the parallel slalom in Oslo in 2019 and then a bronze in Adelboden in 2021.

Ryding is due to race again in Austria on Tuesday but is keen to play down any hype about his chances.

"It’s taken me 97 World Cups to win one, then everyone expects me to win the next one. If I can get into the mindset and let my skis do the talking then that’s all I can do," he said.

Saturday's victory marks an historic milestone for British skiing and puts the UK firmly on the Alpine circuit's ones to watch.