Following a perfect weather day yesterday in Tignes to open the 2018 Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships, the snow arrived today and the forecast of worsening conditions later in the week brought forward the National Championship Downhill races to today.

The ladies’ race was robbed of one of its favourites in practice when Super G winner Cara Brown suffered a knee injury which is expected to sideline her for the rest of the season.

That opened the door for a host of upcoming stars to chase the title and it was Yasmin Cooper (1:17.92) who took the opportunity and sped victory.

The 19-year-old won the event from Victoria Palla, 17, (1:18.42) who was fastest in practice, while Honor Clissold, 20, was third (1:18.44).

It continues a successful start to the Championships for Cooper who has now been on the podium three times in two days. In yesterday’s Super G races she won Under 21 National Junior Championship and was third in the National Championship.

Cooper commented that while she felt errors during her run may have cost her a chance at victory, her ability to maintain speed through the latter stages was effective.

“I feel over the moon; that was kind of my dream when I was looking at these Championships, to win a couple of races – maybe one race – I definitely didn’t think I’d win two, in all honesty,” said Cooper.

“Once again, like yesterday when I came through the finish I thought there was another timing error because I didn’t have a perfect run. I made big mistakes on the pitch, I made big mistakes on the flat; I just kept carrying the speed and kept charging and it all came together in the end.”

With a fantastic run of results to open to the Championships and Brown now out of the event through injury, Cooper can now realistically start to think about the possibility of winning the overall title herself.

“It wasn’t originally (on my mind) because I didn’t think I’d do as well as I’ve been doing, but I guess now it’s a lot more achievable. I guess that if I just knuckle down in the tech races as well, I’m in for a shot.”

Giulia Harte (1:20.80) won the Field Challenge Cup for the highest-finishing non-British team athlete while silver medallist Palla collected the Raynsford Trophy as the fastest Under 18.


LEFT Billy Major claims the National Downhill Championship from Iain Innes (2nd, left) and Zak Vinter (3rd, right)
RIGHT Yasmin Cooper stands atop the National Downhill Championship podium alongside Victoria Palla (2nd, left) and Honor Clissold (3rd, right)
Images: Vanessa Fry Photography

Billy Major and Iain Innes finished one-two on the downhill podium for the second year in a row, however the margin was significantly closer than it was in 2017.

Last year Major (1:15.24) won the Sir John Ritblat British Men’s Downhill Championship by almost half a second, but this year Super G champion Innes (1:15.30) almost reversed the result, falling just 0.06 seconds short of claiming a second national title in as many days.

After finishing third behind Major and Innes three times at last year’s Championships, Zak Vinter (1:15.64) again had to settle for bronze.

Feeling disappointed by his skiing in yesterday’s Super G, Major was pleased to let it all go in the Downhill and is now in a good place heading into the remainder of the Championships.

"It’s nice after yesterday didn’t go so well,” said Major. It wasn’t my best skiing; I made a mistake at the top but I think that really pushed me and I unplugged a bit and just went for it, didn’t overthink it and luckily I was six hundredths the right side of it.

"I was just doing the speed events to try and get points for the overall, so to win it as well was pretty good, very nice.

“I’m not racing (the National Junior Championship) tomorrow, I’m going to train GS then take a day off. So this is ideal, that we did the race today; it allows me to get ready for my main events and rest up as well.”

Mirroring his result from yesterday, Duncan Kuwall (1:18.19) was the fastest non-British team athlete and takes home the Dilnott-Cooper Cup while Tom Hudson (1:18.30) claimed the BSC Cup for the fastest Under 18.

Weather-permitting, the National Junior Championship Downhill races are expected to be contested tomorrow.

Full Results from day two: https://www.teambss.org.uk/sites/default/files/Results%20%2B%20Penalties%20NC%20Downhill%2026%20March.pdf

 

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