Molly Summerhayes flies out of the pipe at the Secret Garden World Cup, China in December (Image: FIS)

09 January 2018

No slowdown as calendar ticks closer to PyeongChang

Today marks one month until the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang and our leading skiers and snowboarders are lining up for some of the final World Cup competitions before the team announcement later this month.

Over the coming days, Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard World Cups are taking place in the United States, while later today the Ladies Alpine Ski World Cup continues in Austria.

 

FIS Alpine World Cup, Flachau AUT – Tuesday 9 February 
Ladies Slalom – Alex Tilley

Alex Tilley was unable to qualify for the second run of the World Cup Slalom race in Slovenia on Sunday and will be hoping to make amends at the night event in Flachau later today.

The 23-year-old has qualified for the second run of World Cup Slalom events twice in the last five years but is hoping to bring across her stronger form in Giant Slalom.

Tilley did show good speed in qualifying for the Parallel Slalom at Courchevel in December, a day after scoring her best World Cup result when she finished 13th in the Giant Slalom. Today she will be 43rd out of the gates with the first racer starting at 5pm GMT.

FIS Freestyle Ski & Snowboard World Cups, Snowmass USA – Wednesday 10 to Saturday 13 January
Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe – Rowan Cheshire, Molly Summerhayes, Zoe Atkin
Men’s Ski Halfpipe – Murray Buchan, Peter Speight, Xander Glavatsky-Yeadon
Ladies’ Ski Slopestyle – Izzy Atkin
Men’s Ski Slopestyle – James Woods, Tyler Harding
Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle – Matt McCormick

A host of GB Park and Pipe athletes have descended on Colorado for four World Cup events over the coming days. Qualifying for Ski Halfpipe and Snowboard Slopestyle take place on Wednesday with the finals on Friday; Ski Slopestyle qualifying is on Thursday followed by Saturday’s final.

In the Ladies Ski Halfpipe, Rowan Cheshire will be joined by Molly Summerhayes and Zoe Atkin.

Cheshire, a World Cup winner in 2014, continues to step up her return to snow as PyeongChang appears ever closer on the horizon. Molly Summerhayes, a former World Junior Champion, missed out on her first World Cup final in December but did break through for her first top ten and a career-best result with ninth place in her last competition. Zoe Atkin – younger sister of Izzy – will turn 15 next week and makes her World Cup debut less than a month after a podium performance in the Nor-Am Cup.

A trio of Men’s Halfpipe skiers will be keen to maintain their good form from 2017 into the new year.

Sochi Olympian Murray Buchan scored his best World Cup result in nearly two years in December, just missing out on the final in Copper Mountain to finish 16th overall. Peter Speight and Xander Glavatsky-Yeadon are coming off standout performances in China; Speight scored Britain’s best ever Men’s Halfpipe result to finish fourth, while Glavatsky-Yeadon made his first World Cup final and finished eighth.

Matt McCormick is the only British snowboarder competing this week, taking on slopestyle qualifying on Wednesday. The 20-year-old has mainly competed in Big Air competitions this season but will be hoping to emulate his top 20 slopestyle result from the Czech Republic in March last year.

On Thursday the Slopestyle skiers will all be hoping to continue strong seasons to date.

Izzy Atkin is the sole competitor in the ladies’ competition and enters the event on the back of a top five performance at the Dew Tour in December. Atkin is aiming to call upon her form from March 2017 when she claimed a World Cup win as well a podium performance at the World Championships.

Having won the opening World Cup of the season in New Zealand, James Woods leads the charge in the Men’s Slopestyle. Like Atkin, Woods also took to the World Championships podium last year and scored another top 10 at the Dew Tour in December. He will be joined in the event by Tyler Harding who goes to Colorado at the top of his game after scoring his first ever career top 10 two days before Christmas in France.

FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup, Deer Valley USA – Wednesday 10 & Thursday 11 January
Ladies’ Moguls – Makayla Gerken Schofield
Men’s Moguls – Max Willis, Thomas Gerken Schofield

The British Moguls squad has had a quick turnaround from their weekend competition in Calgary, this week taking to the slopes in Deer Valley with two competitions in as many days.

Max Willis had a great result on the weekend, his score good enough for 21st and less than three points adrift of qualifying for his first World Cup Final.

He will be joined in the men’s competition by Thomas Gerken Schofield who also earned a career-best result (35th) in Canada, while sister Makayla – a Europa Cup Dual Moguls winner last season – will compete in the ladies’ event.

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