SKIING: RUGBY ski star Maxine Hancock was left lost for words after clinching a surprise podium finish at the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships on Sunday.
Taking place from March 25 to April 7, the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships will welcome more than 300 of Britain’s most talented skiers to the slopes of the French Alps.
Hancock, 19, was a regular on the piste throughout last week’s Senior and Junior Championships, but a berth in the top three had so far evaded her grasp.
That was all set to change on Sunday however, a day plagued by heavy snowfall, as she took the final spot on the podium in the NJC Slalom with a combined time of 2:07.91, and the former Rugby High School pupil could not believe her luck.
“It’s a huge surprise. I don’t think I skied that well but I stayed in despite it being incredibly hard work,” she said.
“My first run was very slow and messy, and it was much the same in the second run as well.
“I made a lot of mistakes but in these conditions, I was just happy to make it across the finish line.
“It’s insane to have got onto the podium, it feels like someone is playing a practical joke on me.
“Aside from my skiing, I’ve loved every second of the British Championships. I really love coming to Tignes, it’s a nice area.
“But I’m not happy with my skiing, although I think that’s because I am so tired at the end of the season.”
The 2016/17 season has marked the best ever campaign for British skiers and snowboarders, with 15 World Cup and three World Championship podiums among athletes’ achievements.
But while Hancock admits that her own personal campaign may not have been the best, she insists there are still plenty of opportunities to take.
“This season hasn’t gone as well as I’d like, but I have improved and that was my goal, so I have to be happy with that,” she added.
“Over the summer, I just want to continue to improve, as well as getting some money behind me so that I am able to race again next season.”
To follow the Delancey British Alpine Ski Team visit www.teambss.org.uk or follow @teambss on Twitter. As Principal Sponsor of British Ski and Snowboard, specialist real estate investment and advisory company Delancey is proud to be able to support British athletes – visit www.delancey.com