OLYMPIC skier Laurie Taylor continued his brilliant season by claiming his first national title at the Delancey British Alpine Skiing Championships in Tignes on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Basingstoke took gold with a combined time over two runs of 2:20.07, over two whole seconds faster than the racer in second.
The Championships, which run from 25th March to 6th April, mark one of the biggest events in the British Alpine skiing calendar and showcases the best talent the nation has to offer, with Delancey in its seventh year of sponsoring the event.
Having competed at the Winter Olympics last month in PyeongChang and coming fifth in the team event with Dave Ryding, Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest, Taylor believes the standard at the British Championships is extremely high.
“It was tough today, it was a fight,” said the Olympian.
“There were a lot of tactics involved, if you go off the line it made it pretty hard to get back.
“It was good fun, definitely a challenge, it took a lot of people out of the course so I was happy to make it to the finish line.
“I think the British Champs are really good because you get to see all the young guys here.
“Even the guys my age we don’t really see them around that much racing so it’s good to all be in one place racing. It’s good fun with all of us here.
“It’s a bit different, you feel that, but for me I’ve not done much GS this year so I didn’t have expectations and there wasn’t really any pressure on me for this, I was more of an underdog coming into this one so that was good for me.”
This season Taylor has also won three FIS slalom races, featured on the podium twice at the Far East Cup, and travelled to race in Japan straight from South Korea.
After winning the Giant Slalom today, he’s aiming to steal Dave Ryding’s title in the Slalom event tomorrow, but admits he’s had a tiring season.
“It does feel like it’s been quite a long one,” said Taylor.
“There’s been a lot of races, travelled a long way to lots of different places.
“But there’s a lot of new places for me so it’s good, new experience, I get to ski lots of different hills.
“We do some training wherever we go in little blocks, but I think that’s good for me training in different terrain instead of staying in one place and doing lots of turns on the same hill, it’s good to do a mix.
“I’m feeling pretty tired now! But hopefully I’ll do some recovery and should be good for tomorrow.”