Meribel 2019

WATCH: Meribel Begins With Shock Winner In Telemark

There was just one event on the opening day, but another chapter in a brewing rivalry was written.

There was a shock winner on day one of the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships in Meribel.

In the Telemark Giant Slalom event, there has been a brewing rivalry at the top of the rankings between James French and the Army’s Rob Houstoun.

For many events over recent years, it has been French who has come out on top but in the snow of the French Alps, Meribel proved to be Houstoun’s moment.

He came out on top on two runs by a fine margin, just 0.14 seconds, but it meant a gold medal on day one for the Army man.

Behind French and Houstoun was the Royal Navy’s Gordon McRae, with two more Army riders and a Navy skier rounding out the top six.

For the winner, a shock win was exactly what he wanted.

He said: “Yeah it was a surprise to me.

"It was a surprise to James too and quite a nice change. Hopefully, it will continue that way.

"I was at the Army and the British Championships earlier this year which I came out on top of but it was a hollow victory as he wasn’t there.”

The rivalry will write another chapter in the Sprint event on Thursday.