Alcott and Ryding backed to shine by Olympic veteran Bell
Chemmy Alcott's determination means she will win her battle for fitness ahead of next year's Winter Olympics, says Graham Bell
Chemmy Alcott’s trademark determination means she will win her battle for fitness ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics, according to five-time Olympian Graham Bell.
British downhill hope Alcott is hoping to be back on the slopes in December after breaking her leg for the second time in August.
The 31 year-old, who spent a considerable time out of action after smashing her right leg in 2010, will miss the opening World Cup races but Bell is confident she will be back for a fourth Olympic campaign.
“Chemmy just hasn’t given up and it’s great to see that kind of determination and committment,” said Bell.
“There’s a good chance that when she starts skiing again she’ll get up to speed pretty quickly.
“I’m hopeful that when she makes her comeback she’ll pick up from where she left off, after some really encouraging performances last season.
“If she can get a couple of good results prior to the Games, then she’s got a chance of going there (to Sochi) and bettering 11th place, which is her best previous result.
“It’s difficult to see her winning a medal but you never know, ski racing is unpredictable.”
Bell also hopes Dave Ryding can emerge as a surprise package in the men’s slalom, just as Alain Baxter did 12 years ago in Salt Lake City.
Ryding finished 27th on his Olympic debut in Vancouver but last season topped the overall Europa Cup standings – the first British skier to claim a title on skiing’s second tier tour.
“Alain proved anything can happen,” added Bell.
“It depends how quickly he can make that step up to the World Cup circuit and we’ll find out in a couple of weeks when they start racing.
“If Dave can get a few top 30 placings and a few second runs then it’s amazing how fast a skier can move up the rankings.
“It (getting a second run) is like being caught in a whirlwind it just takes you up, if you get second run the chances are you’ll creep into the top 30 and if you have a really good second run with a fresh track, the chances are you’ll be in top 15.”