Ryding makes British history with stunning World Cup gold

Dave Ryding insists he never stopped believing he would one day reach the top step of the podium after making British sporting history in Kitzbühel.

Just 24 hours after being officially selected for his fourth Olympic Winter Games, the 35-year-old produced the best slalom run of his life to win his first World Cup gold medal.

Ryding's victory is the first by a British alpine skier in World Cup history and lays down the perfect marker ahead of the Beijing Games next month.

"I've gone blank," he said right after the race, "There was so much emotion when I finished and now I just, I don't know what to say, I'm normally not lost for words but now..."

"You know, I'm 35 now but I never stopped believing, I never stopped trying, and to bring the first victory for Great Britain in a World Cup, in Kitzbuhel, I mean, I don't know if dreams are made better.

"Thanks for your support, it means the world just to hear some Brits and people cheering in the fans because you know, I don't have a home race but there's always some Brits in the Alps because we love skiing and we love to party as well, so, thank you!"

Ryding was certainly made to sweat in the Austrian mountains after watching five skiers try to beat his combined time of 1:41.26.

He was sixth at the halfway mark but shot to the top of the pile with a brilliant 49.86s second run, one of only three skiers to dip under 50 seconds.

When Marc Rochat finished 1.21s down and Guiliano Razzoli and Sebastian Foss-Solevaag failed to finish, Ryding was guaranteed a fourth World Cup podium of his career - five years to the day after his first which also came in Kitzbuhel.

France’s Clement Noel then failed to beat Ryding’s time, securing at least silver for the Brit, before halfway leader Alex Vinatzer made too many errors and settled for 19th.