Tagged ‘BBC Ski Sunday’

The 2019 World Cup Season

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After Christmas the British team, along with the French, spent time training in La Thuile, Italy. The conditions were amazing and it allowed for some great progress. I was joined by BBC Ski Sunday, who came to film over a few days. This was a really fun and interesting experience where TV presenter, Graham Bell, attempted to telemark in a giant slalom, on a jump and to skate for the first time.

BBC Ski Sunday Presenter Graham Bell with Jasmin Taylor in La Thuile, Italy

The training group with the BBC Ski Sunday team before Christmas

The first World Cup race was also held in La Thuile, it is a super steep slope and has hosted many alpine World Cup events over the years. Graham Bell and the Ski Sunday team turned up again, and Graham actually fore-ran the Classic event which proved to be quite the challenge. I managed a 2nd place finish, and 4th the day before in the Sprint discipline.

The first World Cup podium of the season in La Thuile. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

The final steep section, possibly the steepest slope of the tour. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

The prize from the first podium. Photo credits and thanks to Sara Mo Vanacht

The first race was the Sprint, followed by the gruelling Classic where Sion Bingham (30th, 26th), Ben (27th, 23rd) and Jack Emsley (DNF, 29th) were also competing. Louis Hatchwell achieved a career best finish of 12th place in the Sprint discipline but unfortunately did not finish (DNF) in the Classic. Jack Harvard Taylor and Tanner Visnick were in the commentary booth. US athlete, Tanner, suffered a serious ankle injury in training just before the first race. This is a real shame because Tanner is an amazing skier, and was showing real form on the slopes.

Team-mate, Louis Hatchwell, in the hot seat waiting for his competitors to finish, he looks quite comfy. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

Meanwhile, the British Championships were hosted by the army in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France, and from what I have heard they were a real success and well attended. The new overall British Champions are Sissi Compton (British C Team) and Robert Houstoun (British A Team), while Colin Dixon (British B Team) was victorious in the Classic discipline. There were also some great performances from Ben Silva (British C Team), Magnus McIntosh (Magnus had joined us for training in La Thuile), Naila Cardwell (British B Team) and Louis Blyth (Club des Houches).

My team-mates, (L to R) Naila Cardwell, Colin Dixon, Sissi Compton and Ben Silva in Pralognan-la-Vanoise

The British Championship Classic podium: 1st place; Colin Dixon, 2nd place; Robert Houstoun, 3rd place; Louis Blyth

Then the World Cup tour travelled to Pralognan-la-Vanoise where we joined the rest of our team-mates. The first race was the Sprint, I skied clean on the first run taking the lead by over 2 seconds, the second run was very intense but I am proud to have taken my first victory of the season and against Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) who has proven to be one of the best athletes in snow-sport history. This occurred right before the BBC Ski Sunday program was broadcast to 1 million viewers on mainstream TV, and 80,000 viewers on BBC iPlayer back home in Britain. The support and feedback following the article has been overwhelming.

The opening ceremony in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

A team photo after opening ceremony

Louis Hatchwell on course in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

Sion Bingham powering through the run in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

Trying to find the front of my ski in France. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

The flower ceremony with (L to R) Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

The prize giving ceremony and British national anthem with (L to R) Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

The French hosted race was a World Cup debut for Ben Silva and Magnus McIntosh where they finished 31st and 29th in the Sprint and 34th and 33rd in the Classic. Sion Bingham finished in 22nd and 21st, Jack Emsley 30th and 32nd, Louis Hatchwell DNF and 22nd, Colin Dixon 27th and 29th, and I finished 4th in the Classic. A great weekend of racing! You can see an article from BBC Sport here.

The winning moment caught on camera. Photo credits and thanks to Colin F Shepherd

We then moved onto the third round of racing in the southern French Alps in Pra-Loup. The event kicked off with a tough Classic, I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle from the very beginning so I was very pleased to walk away with 2nd place and team-mate, Ben Emsley achieved a career best of 23rd position. The following day, the Sprint, I took my fourth podium with a 3rd place, and again Ben achieved another personal best of 20th position. The third and final day of racing was the Parallel Sprint, the first of the season. I finished in 5th after crashing out in the loom against Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) who went on to take 2nd place, Ben finished in 17th place after racing Theo Sillon (FRA). BBC Sport caught wind of the action again, which you can see here.

Last season there were 21 World Cup races, this season had just 12 although it is a World Championship year, these races are counted separately.

Awaiting the start of the Parallel Sprint in Pra-Loup. Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

On the podium in Pra-Loup, France with (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Jasmin Taylor (GBR). Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

Following these races in Italy and France, we had a short one week break which I spent back in Les Houches. It was so nice to see my boyfriend, Will, who came to visit and we enjoyed some powder skiing together.

Will being shy, or just looking at how much snow there is…

An amazing view of Mont Blanc from Les Houches, France

Some bad news struck in the form of team-mate, Sissi Compton, getting injured. Sissi broke her ACL whilst training, but everyone is behind her wishing her well. She will be back stronger than ever.

The next round of racing in Oberjoch, Germany kicked off with a Sprint where I finished 3rd, Louis Hatchwell DNF, Alec Dixon 31st and Ben Emsley in 30th place. Then the Parallel Sprint where I qualified in 4th place. I raced Johanna Holzmann (GER) in the semi-finals where I suffered one of the biggest crashes in my career, I had to race the small final with borrowed poles and my training skis because of the damage which had occurred to my equipment. Full of adrenaline, I won the dual against Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) taking 3rd place. Luckily the German team doctor was on location to treat my arm after the race which had swollen to twice the size. The boys all finished in joint 17th place.

The Sprint podium with (L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Martina Wyss (SUI), Simone Oehrli (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Stefan Hess

Louis Hatchwell racing in the Parallel Sprint. Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

The crowd in Oberjoch, Germany. Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley on course. Photo credits and thanks to Stefan Hess

Jasmin Taylor (GBR) vs. Johanna Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

I think it was at this moment I realised that this might hurt… Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Slightly worse for wear… Photo credits and thanks to Guro Helde Kjølseth

The aftermath of the crash… A huge thank you to Sebastian Sinz, the German Team doctor who was on location to generously provide his help and expertise!

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Both races were broadcast on mainstream German TV with over 2.5 million viewers on each feature. There was another BBC Sport article published (see here) and a report on the local BBC news channel back home.

Feeling slightly worse for wear, battered and bruised we travelled on to Krvavec, Slovenia for World Cup Finals and the World Junior Championships. There were more junior women, than junior men which is a really positive sign for the sport. Again, we started with the Classic event where I took my final podium of the season, a 3rd place, taking my total to 29 World Cup podiums equalling the British record set by Free-skier, Gilly Curry in 1994. There was an article published by Planet Ski here and one by BBC Sport here. This podium places me 2nd in the World Cup Classic standings, earning me a silver medal. Louis Hatchwell finished in a respectable 20th place.

The race hill in Krvavec, Slovenia

On course in the Classic. Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen

Louis on course in the Classic. Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen

The prizes in Slovenia. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The World Cup podium earning me a joint British record with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A silver medal in the World Cup Classic standings with with Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Johanna Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Alec and Colin Dixon did not compete in the World Cup Classic, reserving their energy for the World Junior Championships where unfortunately, Alec DNF but Colin placed in 16th position.

Alec racing in Krvavec, Slovenia. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Colin on course. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Qualifications for the Parallel Sprint were held the next day, picking up too many penalties, I found myself in 8th place. Louis crashed and therefore didn’t qualify; Alec qualified in 32nd and Colin DNF. The following day, Alec finished in joint 17th place and I finished in joint 5th place. In the World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint, Colin finished 17th and Alec in joint 9th place. This 5th place result puts me in 4th in the World Cup Parallel Sprint standings.

(L to R) FIS Chairman; Andrew Clarke, Jasmin Taylor, Coach; Sebastien Mansart. Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

The very last day, a Sprint, tensions were running high with overall rankings vulnerable and not yet in the bag. I finished in 4th behind Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). This 4th place just behind Argeline meant I maintained 2nd in the World Cup Sprint standings, another silver medal. Not only that, I have a new world ranking within the top 3, my goal for the season earning me a bronze medal in the Overall World Cup standings. Great Britain finished 5th in the Nations Cup standings, our joint best result.

A silver medal in the Sprint World Cup standings with Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A special moment. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A silver medal in the Sprint World Cup standings. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The Overall World Cup podium earning me a bronze medal with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The final day in Krvavec was spent in the commentary booth with Monica Huszcz Delevaux where I watched Alec finish in 16th and Colin in 12th in the World Junior Championship Sprint event. The races were broadcast on Slovenian mainstream TV which is again, hugely beneficial for the sport.

A team photo in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Colin Dixon, Alec Dixon, Sebastien Mansart, Jasmin Taylor. Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

Still a team photo… Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

At least it was a team photo… Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

Now I return to the UK for a few days rest before travelling back to France for more training in preparation for the World Championships later this season in Rjukan, Norway. As always, thank you to everyone making it possible: boyfriend, family, friends, coaches, team-mates, university, organisers, committees, federations and fellow athletes.

My first World Cup victory

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After spending Christmas at home I returned to Les Houches for training ahead of the next round of World Cup races. The second event in the calendar was hosted by the British in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France. The production was very professional and the organisation team put on a great show. The first day of racing was the Sprint, followed by a long, gruelling Classic. I finished in 3rd place on both days. Naila Cardwell finished in 14th and 17th with Sissi Compton forerunning and also doing GB Telemark proud. Colin Dixon finished in 29th and 36th, Colin’s brother; Alec finished in 24th and unfortunately, did not finish (DNF) on the Classic. Sion Bingham has been skiing really well in training, making big improvements, Sion finished with 23rd in the Sprint and a career best of 20th in the Classic. Ben Emsley, one to watch, finished in 30th place on both days. Former British Champion, James French, finished in 17th and 24th, so very respectable show all round. Louis Hatchwell still suffered from injuries and did not race but was on location supporting. Jack Harvard Taylor was again in the commentary box and there was an awesome turn-out of British supporters – including my parents!

L to R, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

L to R, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office

The top three, photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office / Yvan Lastes

Photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office

Training buddy, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) winning her first World Cup. Photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office / Yvan Lastes

Some brilliant GB supporters...

Some brilliant GB supporters…

My parents on location in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France

My parents on location in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France

The World Cup tour then travelled to the USA for more races in Suicide Six and Sugarbush, Vermont. This meant that Louis Hatchwell and I missed the British Championships which followed on in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. The full results from the championship are listed here. I would like to note how well Sion Bingham and Sissi Compton have done – now the current British Champions. Ben Emsley has also progressed enormously, last year he crashed out in most race runs and now he’s one of the very best in the country.

L to R, Ben Emsley and Sion Bingham

L to R, Ben Emsley and Sion Bingham

The current British Champions, Sissi Compton and Sion Bingham

The current British Champions, Sissi Compton and Sion Bingham

Meanwhile in Suicide Six, I took my first World Cup victory in the Sprint event. I made a bet with my mum, who has never put a pair of ski boots on, that if I won a World Cup, she would learn to ski. The next morning I awoke to this photo…

My mum down at the Suffolk Dry Ski Centre in Ipswich, Suffolk

My mum down at the Suffolk Dry Ski Centre in Ipswich, Suffolk

First World Cup victory

First World Cup victory

L to R Team Captain, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Team Coach, Sebastien Mansart

L to R, Team Captain; Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Team Coach; Sebastien Mansart

L to R, Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA)

L to R, Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA)

Louis Hatchwell finished in 18th, remarkable considering everything he has had to contend with recently. The following day was the Dual Sprint; I won the qualification run though in the end, finished 3rd behind Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Louis qualified in 16th place and eventually finished in 9th place.

The start hut in Suicide Six, Vermont

The start hut in Suicide Six, photo courtesy of Sebastien Mansart

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

On course in Suicide Six, photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

The Dual Sprint small final against Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

In action, photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

The final racing day in Suicide Six was a Sprint, here I finished in 2nd and with tricky conditions, Louis unfortunately DNF. We had one travel day between races, it was a full on week to say the least. The British teamed up with Czech racer, Kamil Dostal so we were four whilst travelling and sight-seeing. In Sugarbush, I shared an apartment with competitors; Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR). Argeline asked me to go to the door and outside waiting for me, was former USA telemark racer Madi McKinstry. I lived with Madi during the 2013 season and it was awesome to see her again – we always have so much fun.

L to R, Sebastien Mansart, Madi McKinstry, Jasmin Taylor

L to R, Sebastien Mansart, Madi McKinstry, Jasmin Taylor

The competition in Sugarbush kicked off with a Classic. Again, I took the victory which means my grandma will attempt to ski as well…

Photo courtesy of NSF Telemark

The Classic in Sugarbush, photo courtesy of NSF Telemark

There was a change in the schedule and it was decided that another Classic would run on day two – it’s very rare to have two Classic races in a row. Here I finished in 3rd place and Louis finished in 19th place. The final day, a Sprint, was the closest race of all, though the closeness was not to my advantage. Despite having the fastest second run, I finished 4th after collecting gate penalties. I finished 2nd in the overall point standings for the American races behind training buddy, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA).

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

A nice moment with Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

We flew to and from New York so stopped off to be tourists on our way back. During our stay there, I featured on BBC Ski Sunday back at home, in England. That was pretty awesome!

Flat Iron Building with, L to R, Kamil Dostal, Sebastien Mansart, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell

The Flatiron building with, L to R, Kamil Dostal, Sebastien Mansart, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell

Diner in New York

Diner in New York

Times Square, New York

Times Square, New York with Sebastien Mansart

Making good use of my World Cup prizes in New York City

Making good use of my World Cup prizes in New York City

You can catch up on the live-stream highlights here. Now on to Germany, then Slovenia for more races…

British Telemark Indoor Race Series!

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Yesterday saw the final race in the British Telemark Indoor Race Series at Hemel Hempstead’s Snow Centre! It was a great day with plenty of familiar faces. I convinced some alpine ski racers from the Suffolk Vikings (my routes and very first race team!) to come along and try, I was impressed by how much they progressed in such a short period having been coached by BASI‘s finest instructors! Not only that! We had Sally from SkiBartlett (providing prizes), Ian Finlay (my ski-cross coach back-in-the-day) from SnowSport England commentating, Adrian Perry as TD, Jack Harvard Taylor as chief of race AND Graham Bell from BBC’s Ski Sunday even took part. Good show! (Plenty of other people that are equally awesome, but just too many to mention!)

Graham Bell from BBC's Ski Sunday opening the race and getting psyched!

Graham Bell from BBC’s Ski Sunday opening the race and getting psyched!

The Jump! The Gates! The Course!

The Jump! The Gates! The Course!

I was joined by friends for lunch and also my top sponsors – TDS SafeGuard (destroy-it.com) who came to support and watch. Luckily, I skied quite well and won the race overall. The boys didn’t make it easy for me, on the first run I was in 2nd position behind ex-national french team skier, Rémi Fradet, but managed to pull it back on the second run 😉

All in all, a great day for British Telemark, racing and really good fun! I can’t wait to do it all again next summer. Keep your eyes peeled on Facebook and the GB Telemark Team website for more news and photos from the racing!

 

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