Ryding storms to second in Oslo City Event as Schwartz wins

Dave Ryding almost pulled off the first World Cup win for a British alpine ski racer in taking second in the Oslo City Event on New Years Day. Ryding lost on the two legged final to Austrian Marco Schwartz after having dispatched of two the strong Austrian racers in the opening two rounds and then the Olympic Slalom Champion, Andre Myhrer, in the semi final. Ramon Zenhausern took third.

Ryding came into the City Event on a high having finished 4th in the last regular Slalom in Madonna di Campiglio yet looked at the field knowing that each of the racers was capable of winning the event. The City Event field is made up of the top 14 racers from the WCSL in Slalom plus the top two from the Overall WCSL.

Having finished fourth in two previous City Events, Ryding is not a great fan of the technique required for the event but such is his determination to win, has adjusted his style to suit the conditions.

"I came into this event determined not to do the double block but realised that it was the way to go," explained Ryding after the event.

After a disappointing race in Saalbach Hinterglemm, Ryding sat down with his support team and they analysed what had gone wrong. "I was not far off the top guys," he explained, "It was just the wrong place at the wrong time," he added. Since then, Ryding has added 130 World Cup points to his season long tally and gone from dropping out of the top 15 racers to now being ranked sixth in the World Cup standings!

With Hirscher beating Christian Hirschbuehl in the opening race, Ryding dispatched of Manuel Feller to set up the clash with the huge star of slalom racing. Andre Myhrer and Michael Matt battled through to the next round as well with Yule, Zenhausern and Schwartz all justifying their seedings to win through. In the last race, Henrik Kristoffersen, who had been training with Ryding prior to the event, surprisingly knocked out by Mathias Hargin.

Ryding beat Hirscher on both legs of the quarter final to face up against Myhrer who beat the higher ranked Matt. in the lower half of the draw Zenhausern won an all Swiss race over Yule while Schwartz knocked out Hargin.

Ryding put the pressure on Myhrer in winning the first run as Myhrer crashed out and when the Swedish crashed out again in the second run, Ryding was through to the final to face Schwartz who had won a tight affair with Zenhausern.

Ryding had been unbeaten up to this point and with a preference for the blue course desite both courses being set the same, Schwartz took the first run by 0.28. Ryding put his all into the second run but had to settle for second as he lost his line at the bottom of the hill.

A second runners up spot to become the only male British athlete with two podium results was the end result for Ryding and a first World Cup win for Schwartz who now moves up to within a point of Hirscher in the World Cup points

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