Baggio tipped for British title
PUBLISHED: 10:06 23 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:49 26 March 2015
Dougie Crawford admits he will be sad to relinquish his British downhill crown but has tipped Harpenden's Max Baggio to be a worthy winner in Tignes next week.
Crawford took the title ahead of Jack Gower and TJ Baldwin at last year’s Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships, however none of the trio will be competing at this year’s event in France, which gets underway on March 22.
With Baldwin retired, Gower competing in America and Crawford taking a break from the slopes, the path is clear for rising star Baggio to stake his claim as the country’s best.
And while Crawford says he will be back in action soon enough, he believes 19-year-old Baggio has the ability to fly the flag for Britain on the international stage.
“I think it’s quite open with TJ Bladwin and I not competing so I think Max Baggio is the top seed at the moment. He has had a good year skiing with our old coach as well,” he said.
“TJ has retired, I’m not skiing this year, although I have thought about turning up to race but it’s maybe not the safest option having not trained.
“Jack is in America trying to get results out there so it falls on Max’s shoulders to step up and put a performance in and I think he is one of the guys with a bit of experience in the downhill.
“He’s not done a huge amount but he has done more than the other guys and he has a coach with a lot of experience in speed racing so I think he should get it done.
“I’d obviously rather keep my crown but he’s a good young skier and a nice guy so I would absolutely be happy to turn the title over to him.”
And while the World Cup season is the top goal for most skiers in a season, Crawford believes the Championships are a huge date on the calendar for any British skier looking to add their name to an illustrious history.
“It’s a great competition and is up there in terms of achievements you can get as a skier in this country,” he added.
“Especially when it’s your first title or your first few titles at senior level, it’s huge.
“They are amazing trophies that are decades old and some date back to the 1930s I think so there are some interesting names on there and to have your name engraved in history is pretty special.”
Crawford is an ambassador for the Ski Club of Great Britain, the UK’s biggest snowsports membership club offering benefits and services to those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding. For more info visit: skiclub.co.uk