The FIS World Cup tour had a festive feeling to it after stopping off in Lapland Levi, Finland for the first Slalom races of the season.
Britain’s had unfinished business with the Levi course after leading the first run last year, only to crash out towards the end of his second run challenge. The Rocket has a new ski set up this season after switching from Fischer to Dynastar in the summer.
A dramatic drop of temperature overnight in Levi, Finland had caused the artificial snow on the course to turn into boilerplate ice. This was tough for the athletes who had been training on softer snow all week.
The first run was set by Norwegian coach Stefan Kornberger, who managed to set an incredibly tough pattern of turns that really tested the world’s best. After the first run, surprise surprise, it was who was leading the race. However, he was only narrowly 0.07 seconds in front of Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, with young Frenchman Clement Noel +0.38 seconds behind in third.
As for Ryding, he had a solid first run from bib 15, he managed to finish +1.05 seconds behind Hirscher, which put him into ninth place. There was certainly an incentive for a second run attack by the man from Pendle.