Day two of the English Alpine Ski Championships in Bormio was blessed once again with clear blue skis and good snow conditions, as the junior racers tackled a FIS Slalom while the Under 16s and Under 14s raced two runs of Slalom.
In the FIS Slalom, the male British skiers enjoyed the company of 37-year-old ‘retired’ Croatian World Cup racer Ivica Kostelic, who decided to tackle the Stelvio piste. Despite still looking impressive, he couldn’t quite take the win, getting beaten into second by Italy’s Nicolo Colombi. The fastest Under 21 Brit, Robert Poth, was just fractions of a second away from Kostelic’s time, finishing fourth overall. Behind Poth was Zak Vinter who was the second-fastest Under 21 Brit and Rory Farren third. For the Under 18 boys, Ben Bruno was the quickest Brit, with Leonidas Karavasili second and Kieran Troup third.
Meanwhile in the ladies’ race, Yasmin Cooper was able to go one better after Sunday’s second-place finish and topped the British Under 21 podium. She finished eighth overall in a talented field, with Dutch skier Boxie Borchart on top of the overall standings for the second time in as many days. Francesca Lee and Honor Clissold rounded off the Under 21 British podium, finishing second and third respectively with both having crashed out on Sunday. Hannah Loeffen-Gallagher finished top of the pile in the British Under 18s category, with Megan Riley and Lucy Scott not far behind.
Those results saw Poth, Bruno, Cooper and Loeffen-Gallagher all crowned English national champions in their respective age groups.
Quotes from the English Slalom Champions:
Yasmin Cooper - 1st U21 Slalom women’s:
“It’s definitely a great result for me today. I didn’t expect to win today so it’s really great that I have done and skied so well. I improved a lot from yesterday. Having a couple of slalom runs under my belt already definitely helped and my first run today was just so much better than how I was skiing yesterday.
“It was helpful to have the experience of the hill and the snow. I could prepare myself properly for today and I gave it a lot more on the course which paid off. I definitely do seem to perform better under pressure, which is weird I guess, but having that pressure on top of me encourages me to go harder and be faster.”
Hannah Loeffen-Gallagher - 1st U18 Slalom women’s:
“That’s an amazing result for me, really good. It was just about getting two runs down for me today and I’m really happy that I finished. I crashed out yesterday so I was really focused on getting my mindset and tactics right for the two runs today. The first run was like Sunday; really turny, but the second was more open and that felt like it suited me a little bit more.This is my first title in the FIS age groups, so that’s a great result for me. The step up has definitely been a change, but I’m getting used to it now slowly, and it’s certainly more exciting with the bigger skis and more challenging courses.”
Robert Poth - 1st U21 Slalom men’s:
“I feel like I skied a lot better today than yesterday. First run I was really happy with, apart from the top four or so gates. But somehow I was still in the mix for the second run, and the time was good so I’m very happy with that. There were fewer mistakes second time down the hill, so overall I’m fairly happy with how I skied.It’s always really nice to get a title that comes along with a result, so I’m very pleased to win.
Ben Bruno - 1st U18 Slalom men’s:
“I’m definitely very happy with how I’m skiing and very excited to be an English champion. I wasn’t expecting to win the English race, but also getting inside the top 30 on the first run was brilliant because it’s a FIS race with some great skiers here. I was just trying to ski like I do in training and not think about anything else other than going for it. I probably skied worse today actually as I made more mistakes, but the runs seemed faster and I was only around two or three seconds behind Kostelic on the second run so that’s not bad at all.”
On the Stella Alpina piste, the Under 16 and Under 14 boys and girls also tackled a Slalom under sunny skies.
For the Under 16 boys, Scottish racer Owen Vinter took top spot, nudging out countryman Joe Christey into second. Oliver Weeks, who was leading after the first run, unfortunately skied out in the second. In third position, and fastest English racer, was Robert Holmes who skied a quick second run after lying in fifth after the first.
In the Under 16 girls category, in-form Siena Horton looked strong on both runs, sealing the win ahead of Daisi Daniels who finished second after a storming second run and Corinna Bertazzoni. Sarah Woodward, who was leading after the first run, unfortunately skied out on the second.
Jack Upton reigned supreme in the Under 14 boys races, standing on the top of the podium with the fastest combined times. Behind him was Scottish racer Robbie Anderson from Glasgow Ski Racing and in third was Sebastien Avent from the British Ski Academy.
For the Under 14 girls, Alexa Eliff from CDC clocked two quick times to take the overall win and fastest English racer. Behind her was Olivia Herries from Evolution and Isla Ward from Glasgow Ski Racing. Sophie Foster put in a spectacular second run, but just missed out on a podium after a mistake in run one.
Quotes from the winners:
Owen Vinter – 1st U16 Boys Slalom:
“I had a really clean first run in the Slalom, and then in the second run I just went for the win and it paid off! I was eager to get out on the course for the second run and prove I could win. I am just back from the International Children’s Races in Andorra, and my best result was the Super G where I came fourth which I was pretty happy with. It was a good experience racing with the Great Britain team.”
Siena Horton – 1st U16 Girls Slalom:
“Training has been going really well this season, but my racing hasn’t always been as good, so today I tried to focus on skiing well and I have come out with a good result. I was so nervous before the race, I always am. Fortunately I managed to hold my nerve and do two decent runs to take the win.”
Jack Upton – 1st U14 Boys Slalom:
“I was really happy with my first run in the Slalom today. My second run wasn’t as good, but I managed to stay in front. I was going for the win today and in the start gate I just went for it and tried to ski as well as I could. I am aiming to get on the podium again this week in both the GS and Super G, but we will see. Slalom is my best discipline, so I am happy to have taken the win today.”
Alexa Eliff – 1st U14 Girls Slalom:
“I just went for it today in the Slalom. The course was pretty turny in run one, but I just went all out and managed to have a really good run. Run two was less turny, and I just managed to keep the lead. I was trying to be really focused before the race and not get too pumped up, because then I don’t do as well. “
The full results can be viewed on the English Alpine Championships page on the Snowsport England website: www.snowsportengland.org.uk. All the action can be followed on Twitter @SnowsportEng and the Snowsport England page on Facebook.
Tomorrow the action continues with the FIS Super G on the Stelvio piste, the U14/U16 Giant Slalom on the Stella Alpina race piste and the Night Slalom.
Snowsport England would like to thank the continued sponsorship and support of the event by main sponsors and supporters Bormio Ski, Rossignol, Vital, Ski Club of Great Britain, Ski Bartletts and Racer Ready.