Dave Ryding is first British skier to win Alpine skiing World Cup race


KITZBÜHEL, Austria — Dave Ryding kneeled in the finish area and kissed the snow. A few meters away, his coach and ski technician cried in happiness.

British ski racing had been waiting for this moment for over five decades.

Ryding had just become the first British winner in the 55-year history of the Alpine skiing World Cup on Saturday, triumphing in one of the classic slaloms of the men’s circuit.

“I guess my name will be in history now,” Ryding said.

Sixth after the opening run, Ryding pumped his fist a few times when he took the lead after his strong final run in dense snowfall on one of the circuit’s most challenging slalom courses.

He then witnessed how the last five racers all made big mistakes and finished well behind — or not at all.

“I had so much emotion when I finished, now I just don’t know what to say. I’m normally not lost for words but now I am,” Ryding said right after the race.

His coach, Tristan Glasse-Davies, and his ski technician, Jai Geyer, loudly cheered from the coaches’ area.

“It means everything, it’s incredible. No one deserves it more than Dave,” said Geyer, a former ski racer who retired in 2016 and competed on the second-tier European Cup.

“He is a solid, intelligent skier,” Geyer added. “He wasn’t actually feeling very well today, he had a bit of a cold. It means so much to British skiing. Dave, winning against the odds, it’s incredible.”

Lucas Braathen, who spectacularly won the slalom in Wengen last week coming from 29th position after the first run, finished 0.38 seconds behind in second, followed by Norwegian teammate Henrik Kristoffersen, who improved from 24th after the opening run.

Ryding’s triumph came five years after the Briton earned his first career World Cup podium at the same iconic venue in the Austrian Alps, finishing runner-up to Austrian great Marcel Hirscher.

Ryding had two more podium results, most recently in Adelboden a year ago, before finally clinching his maiden win.

“I’m 35 now but I never stopped believing. I never stopped trying,” Ryding said. “And to bring the first victory for Great Britain in a World Cup in Kitzbühel, I don’t know if dreams are made better, it’s some place.”

The win crowns a remarkable career for Ryding, who learned to ski on dry slopes and only skied on snow for the first time at the age of 12.

“I didn’t grow up on snow, I grew up on plastic ski slopes, which were 11 seconds long,” he recalled.

Ryding made his World Cup debut in Alta Badia in 2009 and was competing in his 97th race Saturday.

“I think I’m everyone’s second-favorite skier. Everyone knows my story, it’s totally different,” he said.

Ryding became the fifth different winner in the fifth men’s slalom of the season as the top-ranked racers after the first run all struggled in dense snowfall on the demanding course.

First-run leader Alex Vinatzer of Italy dropped to 18th, and French pre-race favorite Clément Noël went from second to 15th.

Norway’s Sebastian Foss-Solevåg and Italy’s Giuliano Razzoli, who were third and fourth, respectively, both straddled a gate and failed to finish.

Defending overall champion Alexis Pinturault also straddled a gate early in his second run as the Frenchman became one of 11 racers who skied out in the final leg.

Luke Winters, wearing bib No. 38, was the top American finisher in 11th. Teammate Benjamin Ritchie also qualified for the second run but skied out halfway down the course.

Manuel Feller, the top-ranked Austrian in slalom, sat out the race after testing positive for COVID-19.

The slalom was initially scheduled for Sunday but organizers swapped it with a downhill, which could not have been staged Saturday because of the snowfall.

There is one more slalom before the Beijing Olympics: a night race in Schladming on Tuesday.

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French Open: Daniil Medvedev stunned by 172nd-ranked qualifier

Thiago Seyboth Wild

No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev was eliminated by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild at the French Open, the first time a top-two men’s seed lost in the first round of a major in 20 years.

Seyboth Wild, a 23-year-old in his second-ever Grand Slam main draw match, prevailed 7-6 (5), 6-7 (8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in more than four hours on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

“I’ve watched Daniil play for, like, my entire junior career until today, and I’ve always dreamed about playing on this court, playing these kind of players,” he said. “In my best dreams, I’ve beaten them, so it’s a dream come true.”

Seyboth Wild overcame the ranking disparity, the experience deficit (it was his first five-set match) and cramps. He began feeling them in the second set, and it affected his serve. Medvedev’s serve was affected by windy conditions. He had 15 double faults.

“I’m not going to look at it back on TV, but my feeling was that he played well,” he said. “I don’t think I played that bad, but he played well.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Seyboth Wild, who had strictly played in qualifying and lower-level Challenger events dating to February 2022, became the first man to take out a top-two seed at a Slam since Ivo Karlovic upset Lleyton Hewitt at 2003 Wimbledon, which ended up being the first major won by a member of the Big Three.

The last time it happened at the French Open was in 2000, when Mark Philippoussis ousted No. 2 Pete Sampras.

It’s the most seismic win by a Brazilian at the French Open — and perhaps any major — since the nation’s most successful man, Gustavo Kuerten, won his third Roland Garros title in 2001.

Tuesday marked the 26th anniversary of Kuerten’s first big splash in Paris, a third-round win over 1995 French Open champion Thomas Muster en route to his first Roland Garros title.

As a junior, Seyboth Wild won the 2018 U.S. Open and reached a best ranking of eighth in the world. Since, he played eight Grand Slam qualifying tournaments with a 1-8 record before advancing through qualifying last week.

The 2021 U.S. Open champion Medvedev entered the French Open having won the first clay tournament title of his career at the Italian Open, the last top-level event before Roland Garros.

“Because wind, dry court, I had a mouthful of clay since probably third game of the match, and I don’t like it,” he said. “I don’t know if people like to eat clay, to have clay in their bags, in their shoes, the socks, white socks, you can throw them to garbage after clay season. Maybe some people like it. I don’t.”

Medvedev’s defeat leaves no major champions in the bottom half of the men’s draw. The top seeds left are No. 4 Casper Ruud, last year’s French Open and U.S. Open runner-up, and No. 6 Holger Rune. No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 3 Novak Djokovic play their second-round matches in the top half on Wednesday.

Women’s seeds to advance Tuesday included No. 6 Coco Gauff, who rallied past 71st-ranked Spaniard Rebeka Masarova 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, plus No. 1 Iga Swiatek, No. 4 Elena Rybakina and No. 7 Ons Jabeur in straight sets.

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Olympians, Paralympians star on Top Chef World All-Stars in Paris


U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls get a taste of Paris in this week’s episode of Top Chef World All-Stars, premiering Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Olympic medalists Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Suni Lee and Paralympic medalists Mallory Weggemann and Hunter Woodhall team up with contestants for a cooking challenge in front of the Eiffel Tower, one year before the French capital hosts the Games.

Olympians have appeared on Top Chef before.

A 2020 episode set at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Coliseum included Diana Taurasi, Rai Benjamin, Nastia Liukin, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Christian Coleman and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

A January 2018 episode featured figure skater Meryl Davis, freeskier Gus Kenworthy and skeleton slider John Daly, one month before the PyeongChang Winter Games.

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