After a successful Winter Olympic Games, British Ski and Snowboard athletes are ready to compete again at the highest level of snowsports this season. 

From Alpine to Freestyle, we look at the top athletes flying the flag for Great Britain this season and also highlight some of the top events to watch out for this winter. 


Freestyle riders

James Woods – Ski Slopestyle & Big Air

Last season James ‘Woodsy’ Woods didn’t compete in many World Cup events because he had already qualified for the Olympics. He did, however, grab a World Cup Slopestyle third place in Seiseralm, Italy which was great preparation leading to PyeongChang. 

The X Games in Aspen was a season highlight too. The Big Air, which wasn’t included in the 2018 Winter Games for skiers, was a great spectacle in the US. Woods managed to grab third place on the night, which was his fourth X Games medal of his career. 

In South Korea, Woodsy came agonisingly close to an Olympic medal. He was in bronze medal position until the final run when he was overtaken by Canadian Alex Beaulieu-Marchand,  with only 1.4 points between them. 

For this season, there will be more World Cup action for Woodsy. There’s also a chance at X Games and World Championship glory in Big Air and Slopestyle.

Billy Morgan – Snowboard Slopestyle & Big Air

Last summer Billy Morgan competed in his one and only  World Cup of the season in Cadrona, New Zealand. He finished sixth in the Big Air event at the New Zealand Winter Games. The rest of the season was spent training for the Winter Olympics. 

Morgan knew that he was an outside bet for the Slopestyle competition and finished in 22nd place. The Snowboard Big Air was a new event at the Olympics and Morgan was in the running for a medal position. The Southampton man, had a 600 point score which was enough to grab a bronze medal for Great Britain. 

The pressure is off for Morgan but we will still see him competing at comps around the world. 

Isabel Atkins - Ski Slopestyle & Big Air

A World Cup third place in Snowmass and an X Games Silver medal in Aspen made Isabel Atkins a favourite going into the 2018 Winter Olympics. Atkin lived up to the hype and grabbed a historical Slopestyle Bronze Medal, the first Freestyle ski Olympic medal for Team GB. 

After the Olympic Games, Atkin finished the season on a high with a World Cup second place in Seiseralm, Italy. A fantastic season for the 20-year-old! 

A World Championship podium, another X Games medal and more World Cup podiums will surely be Atkin’s aims for the new season! 

Katie Summerhayes - Ski Slopestyle & Big Air

 

A second place in the Stubai Slopestyle World Cup was a great start to Katie Summerhayes’ season leading up to the Winter Olympics. However, an ankle injury sustained in December training hampered her preparation for PyeongChang. 

Instead of going to the X Games and competing in more World Cups, Summerhayes was working with her physio and resting up. Not ideal for one of Great Britain’s medal hopefuls. 

Summerhayes did make it to the Olympic Slopestyle but crashed again in training, aggravating her ankle injury. Despite this she still put down some solid runs but was unable to challenge the podium, finishing seventh in South Korea. 

The aim for Summerhayes will be to gradually build up fitness after her ankle injury. Any podiums this winter will be a bonus for the 22-year-old. 


Alpine Racers

Dave Ryding - Slalom

Vanessa Fry Photography

The first race of last season looked promising for Dave Ryding, he was leading the Levi World Cup slalom after the first run. During the second run, Ryding was ahead on each timing split, until he crashed out towards the end of the course. It was so close to being Britain’s first Alpine World Cup win! 

Ryding’s best World Cup result last season came at the Oslo City Event where he placed fourth in the parallel slalom competition. The Brit was close to a podium place but crashed badly on his back in the 3rd/4th playoff first leg. 

As for the Olympics, Ryding finished 7th in the Pyeongchang Slalom, which was Britain’s second best Alpine Olympic result (Martin Bell still has the record with a 6th place in the Calgary downhill). Ryding was also part of the British team that knocked out the USA in the Mixed Parallel Team Event. Britain reached the quarterfinals only to narrowly be knocked out by Bronze medallists Norway.  

After finishing 11th in the overall World Cup Slalom, “The Rocket” will be hoping to get back into the top 10 in the world next season. A World Championship medal is also on the cards in Are, Sweden. 

Laurie Taylor - Slalom & Giant Slalom

Vanessa Fry Photography
After a breakout season on the World Cup and World Championships during the 2016/17 season, Laurie Taylor was gearing up for an Olympic year. The highlight of the season was no doubt the 26th place in the Slalom in Pyeongchang on his Olympic debut. He was also part of the British Olympic Mixed team that reached the quarterfinals
Taylor started three World Cup slaloms in Levi, Madonna di Campiglio and Kitzbuhel but was unable to qualify for the second run. On the Europa Cup, his best result was a 28th place in the slalom at Fjatervalen, Sweden. 
The 21-year-old from Basingstoke will be hoping to build on his World Cup experience and move up the World rankings in Slalom and Giant Slalom. A World Championship result will be on his radar too!

Alex Tilley - Slalom & Giant Slalom

It was an up and down season for Alex Tilley last winter. A lot of ski outs meant the Scottish racer struggled to find consistency throughout the season. However, there was a fantastic personal best result, a 13th place in the Courchevel Slalom. 

On a personal level Tilley had two ski outs during the Olympic Slalom and Giant Slalom, but put in a stunning performance in the Mixed Team Event, winning both her runs during the tournament. This showed Tilley can certainly keep pace with the world’s best. 

The 24-year-old finished 2nd in a Giant Slalom at the New Zealand Winter Games this summer and will be hoping to bring that form into the World Cup this season. The main aim for this season is consistency for Tilley. 

Charlie Guest - Slalom & Giant Slalom

 

Charlie Guest started three World Cups last season in Levi, Courchevel and Lenzerheide last season, but was unable to qualify for the second run. The Scot also finished 33rd in the Pyeongchang Slalom, a solid result on her Olympic debut. 

Guest recorded a personal best FIS point result at the New Zealand Winter Games this summer with a win in the ANC Slalom. A promising result going into the full European winter season. A World Cup points result and a top 30 World Championship finish will be a target for Guest this season. 

 

Ski Cross Racers

Ollie Davies

FIS

Last winter was Davies’ first season on the World Cup circuit competing against the world’s best Ski Cross racers. His best finish at World Cup level was the 36th place in Sunny Valley, Russia, a great stepping stone for the Brit. The third place in St.Francois, France on the Europa Cup tour was another highlight. 

The big news from the summer was Davies becoming the World Junior Ski Cross champion after an emphatic win in New Zealand. The 21-year-old executed the final perfectly from start to finish. This was a perfect start for Davies going into another full World Cup season. 

Emily Sarsfield

Sarsfield was determined to qualify for the 2018 Winter Games after missing out on competing in Sochi. Consistently finishing in the top 30 on the World Cup cemented her place to go to PyeongChang. 

The 35-year-old had finally reached her career goal of competing at an Olympic Games and finished 16th in the ladies Ski Cross, her best result of the season. Sarsfield will be looking to break into the top 15 on the World Cup next season. 

Key events

Freestyle

24th November World Cup Slopestyle Stubai, Austria  
23rd -26th January X Games 2019 Aspen, USA
1st -10th February FIS Freestyle World Championships Utah, USA

Alpine

27th – 28th October World Cup Giant Slalom Solden, Austria 
17th -18th November World Cup Slalom Levi, Finland
5th- 17th February FIS Alpine World Championships Are, Sweden

Ski Cross 

8th December World Cup Val Thorens, France 
1-10th February FIS World Championships Utah, USA

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