British skiers and snowboarders are spread across three continents THIS coming week, contesting World, Europa and Far East Cup competitions. Leading the way are the GB Cross Country team who line up for their first World Cup of the season in Norway, a pair of GB Alpine skiers are in the US while two riders saw World Cup action today at the para snowboard World Cup in Finland.
FIS Cross Country World Cup, Lillehammer NOR – Fri 30 Nov-Sun 2 Dec
The GB Cross Country team bypassed last week’s season-opening World Cup in Finland, preferring to prepare in Norway for this weekend’s event in Lillehammer.
In today’s sprint, Andrew Young achieved the best result by finishing 32nd in the prologue, less than a tenth of a second away from to the top 30 and a place in the knockout stage. Andrew Musgrave was 41st and James Clugnet 48th, while in the ladies’ event Annika Taylor was 64th.
The mini-tour continues tomorrow with the free skate mass start races and concludes on Sunday with the classic pursuit.
Saturday’s and Sunday’s races will be broadcast on Eurosport UK and Eurosport Player.
FIS Alpine World Cup, Beaver Creek USA – Fri 30-Sun 2 December
The Birds of Prey World Cup takes place over the next three days in Colorado with Jack Gower and Charlie Raposo flying the British flag at Beaver Creek.
After missing the event last year due to injuries sustained in a crash the week prior at Lake Louise, Gower will contest today’s downhill and tomorrow’s super G.
Having recovered from a back injury, Raposo will be in the start gate for his fourth-career giant slalom World Cup start and his first race since the British Championships eight months ago.
The Birds of Prey World Cup will be broadcast on Eurosport UK and Eurosport Player.
** Alex Tilley today finished 11th in a giant slalom Europa Cup in race in Funesdalen, Sweden; a second race will take place tomorrow.
** Laurie Taylor was 48th in today’s Europa Cup slalom event in Levi, Finland, and will be hopeful of moving up the leaderboard in Saturday’s race.
** A host of Europa Cup squad skiers are in China preparing for next week’s Far East Cup races where they will chase crucial rankings points. There were strong performances in this week’s preparation races where Robert Poth scored four top five finishes from as many events including a podium in one of the slalom races, Iain Innes was second in both of the giant slalom events while Fraser Middleton and Nick Moynihan also earned top ten results.
World Para Snowboard World Cup, Pyha FIN – Fri 30-Sat 1 December
James Barnes-Miller (upper limb 1) led the Para Snowboard charge today when Pyha played host to the snowboard cross World Cup.
The PyeongChang Paralympian was ranked sixth after the seeding runs and won through to the quarter-finals before bowing out to finish sixth overall.
Having earned a top ten result in his World Cup debut earlier this month in banked slalom, Andy MacLeod (lower limb 2) had his first snowboard cross race at this level today and finished eighth.
Both will be in the start gates again tomorrow for another snowboard cross World Cup race.
Snowboard Cross Europa Cup, Pitztal AUT – Wed 28-Thu 29 November
Just one week after officially being released to race for Great Britain, Charlotte Bankes claimed victory in the first race in her new colours earlier this week.
The snowboard cross star who previously represented France lined up alongside new teammate Maisie Potter in this week’s Europa Cup in Pitztal, Austria.
In Wednesday’s race, Bankes qualified through the seeding round in third place, then picked off three straight wins in the quarters, semis and the big final to stand on top of the podium.
“It was a pretty tense day; I put quite a bit of pressure on myself but with all the support I had from the team I managed to pull through it,” said the 23-year-old. “It was a long day, some tight racing with a lot of passing but I managed to improve on each run and it helped that Eva Samkova crashed in the final, but that’s Snowboard Cross.
“It’s a good way to start the season – even though it’s just a Europa Cup, to get that result with such a great team I’m really forward to kicking off the World Cup season in the GB colours.”
In yesterday’s race Bankes was the fastest through qualifying and one her quarter-final before crashing out in the semis. The returned to race and win the small final to earn fifth place.
Potter competed in her first race in 363 days when she entered the start gate on Wednesday, a broken heel cruelling her PyeongChang dreams last December and keeping her out of competition for nearly a year. Her best result of the week was 24th in Thursday’s seeding run but there are bigger things to come this season for the 21-year-old.