Time to #GoBeyond our wildest dreams in Cortina d'Ampezzo

The anticipation and excitement for the World Championships is nearly over. The 2021 GB Snowsport Team has been announced for the Alpine World Championships and although we will all be watching from the television, it is time to get behind the team and support them in every which way we can. There is talent, there is experience and there is promise for the future in the team.

For the diary:

💥 08 Feb - Alpine combined - W

💥 09 Feb - Super G - W & M

💥 10 Feb - Alpine combined - M

💥 13 Feb - Downhill - W

💥 14 Feb - Downhill - M

💥 16 Feb - Parallel - W & M

💥 17 Feb - Team Parallel

💥 18 Feb - Giant slalom - W

💥 19 Feb - Giant slalom - M

💥 20 Feb - Slalom - W

💥 21 Feb - Slalom - M

Making her debut at the World Championships is Sarah Woodward. Having injured her knee in 2019, Woodward did not get back on the skis competitively until November 2020. Low 50 FIS point scores have seen her selected to race in the Individual and be the reserve for the Team Event. Woodward has benefitted from much of the Covid restricted last year allowing her to use the fitness to strengthen her knee.

Her coach, Marc Telling, described 'Woody' as "One of the brightest characters & hardest workers, certainly to walk through our doors at Ambition." An experience awaits the hard working 19 year old and is the result of hard work. Last summer Woody explained "Each day back on snow is getting me more and more excited for the season to start!" Now she will be getting ready to show how good she is on the World stage!

For 27 year old Alex Tilley, these will be her fourth World Championships. With 87 World Cup starts to her name, a confident Tilley can challenge in both Giant Slalom and Slalom. She has a best on the World Cup of 13th in Giant Slalom (Courchevel 2017) and 20th in Slalom in Squaw Valley also in 2017. Tilley is also scheduled to have the busiest programme of the British Athletes as she competes in Slalom, Super G, Giant Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event.

Tilley's coach, Noel Baxter, has explained that Tilley is skiing well at the moment and has learnt from mistakes made on runs when competing on the World Cup, the benefits of being in a team environment with Team Evolution has really helped her, Tilley explained earlier this season.

These will be Charlie Guest's third World Championships after having competed in the Slalom at both Are in 2019 and Vail Beaver Creek in 2015. After having scored her first World Cup points in Slalom (as opposed to parallel slalom) in Levi this season, Guest has the taste for the second run now and is keen to add to her experience. Unfortunately one of her circle of friends tested positive over the New Year and so she missed the Semmering and Zagreb World Cup rounds but returned for the Flachau World Cup race.

Determination and fire are never in short supply for the British Ski Academy alumni and she knows what is required on the big day. Guest goes in Slalom, Individual Parallel and Team Event.

Two racers have shot up the expectation charts this season proving that it is marathon, not a sprint in making the top results. Laurie Taylor and Billy Major have both won Europa Cup races this season and Taylor currently leads the Europa Cup standings with Major in third. Inspired programme decisions saw the two miss the Zagreb World Cup race and score their excellent results on the hill Major had grown up on, in Val Cenis.

Taylor has World Cup points to his name after placing 24th in Kitzbühel in 2020. He has a best of 33rd in the Slalom, these Championships will be the third time he has competed. Taylor will be looking to better his 33rd from St Moritz in 2017.

These will be Billy Major's second World Championships after debuting in Are in 2019. Major grew in confidence after appearing in Sweden and admitted that it had made him want more of those experiences. A World Cup debut has followed this season as Britain has three places on the tour and he has edged closer and closer to making the second run.

With luck, both racers will be in the top 50 on the start list and not have to go through the qualifying race the day before. Both racers will compete in the Individual and Team Parallel as well as the Slalom.

Charlie Raposo heads to the World Championships having scored a mightily impressive 7th place in a high quality Europa Cup Giant Slalom in Folgaria, this was his second best points wise score of the season and will help him improve his start number for World Cup races as well as for the World Championships. As with Taylor and Major, he should miss the qualification race in the Giant Slalom with luck.

These are Raposo's third World Championships after having raced in Vail (34th in Giant Slalom) and Are. Raposo is determined to make a good result in his journey to scoring World Cup points. He may be the one racer competing in Giant Slalom for GB Snowsport on the World Cup and Europa Cup but he has the personality for the team. Raposo will also compete in the two parallel events, Individual and Team.

The team has experience and will be lead by Dave Ryding. Ryding has just started his 90th start on the World Cup and has scored three podiums in those races. The passion and fire that he exudes is impressive and gives the rest of the team such self belief. These will see him race in his seventh Slalom World Championship and his tenth start in all after having raced in the Giant Slalom in 2009 and 2011 before he concentrated on slalom.

Dave Ryding wears his heart on his sleeve and is passionate in helping the younger racers on the team to learn from his experience. If ever there was a team player, then Ryding is the man. He trains his hardest, instilling movements into his muscle memory so that it becomes natural. If bib 8 can be secured for 21 Feb, then expect fireworks, all three podiums on the World Cup have come from bib 8! Ryding will look to be bettering his best of 9th.

Although he has not got his name down for the Individual Parallel, Ryding has a great record in the parallel event on the World Cup and it would be great to see him fighting it out.

Ryding's friendly social media and on snow rivalry with Daniel Yule is great to see, Both are Kandahar members and being best in the club is intense even at World Cup level. Yule joked on Social Media recently that he has had to take to the Super G skis to wrestle the Best in Club Crown away from Ryding after a string of strong performances on the World Cup by Ryding had seen him in pole position through January!

Congratulations all for making it this far. Do your best and enjoy the experience!

7 athletes, all with their own story to tell. No crowds but Let us all support them and make their stories a Best Seller!

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