OTLEY’S Lucas Ellis insists it is all systems go for the British Alpine Championships following a promising week in Bormio.
Last week saw Ellis compete in the 2017 English Alpine Championships in Italy, bringing the curtain down with a ninth-place finish in Friday’s Under-14 Super-G event.
Just 24 hours earlier the 12-year-old has finished in the same place in the opening Super-G, while he also finished an impressive fourth in Tuesday’s Giant Slalom.
All that meant Ellis finished 10th best under-14 British skier at the event, meaning he is now looking ahead to the British Championships that kick off in Tignes on march 25 with confidence.
“The Super G was really fun – you just get to go so fast so it was a good way to finish,” said Ellis, a former pupil at Prince Henry’s Grammar School.
“It’s been a great week in Bormio – I have enjoyed all the races and the sun has been shining! I have been happy with my race in general.
“This Champs is the first time I have done Super-G and I was really pleased with my performance.
“Also, my fourth place in GS was really good.
“I am going to the British Champs in Tignes and I won the GS there last year so I am looking forward to going back.
“I feel like I am learning a lot.”
Most of Britain’s most revered racers of recent times competed in the Championships during the early stages of their careers, including four-time Olympian Chemmy Alcott and current racers Cara Brown and Dave Ryding.
Ryding is enjoying the season of his career so far, with the 29-year-old consistently inside the top 10 on the slalom circuit and becoming only the second British man to achieve a World Cup alpine podium at the Kitzbühel slalom last month.
And having competed at the Championships between 2003 and 2007, claiming the English slalom title in his final year, Ryding believes that for the likes of Ellis the competition is a vital stepping stone.
“I have always targeted specific races as goals during the season, depending on the level I was at that particular time,” he said.
“When I was in my teens the English Alpine Championships meant absolutely everything to me, and at the time I valued it on par with how I value the World Cup events now.
“I did everything I could to do as well as I could, and it was a great stepping stone to how I will be valuing the world champs in a week’s time.”
Follow the English Alpine Championships on the Snowsport England Facebook page and get live updates on Twitter @SnowsportEng. Full results will be available at www.snowsportengland.org.uk while you can find your nearest slope offering value-for-money GO SKI GO BOARD sessions at www.goskigoboard.org.uk