Tagged ‘GB Snowsport’

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.

An Autumnal Update

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We are very proud and excited to announce that Leggett Immobilier, an award winning estate agency based in France, are sponsoring the GB Telemark Ski Team this season, look out for their logo on our van and clothing. They have a great team of individuals working for them and they are in fact recruiting, you can read more about their ethos here.

The happy team at Leggett Immobilier

In other news, the British skiing federation, formally known as British Ski and Snowboard, have now re-branded and changed their name to GB Snowsport. The branding is now consistent across all disciplines. You can follow our team channels on /gbtelemark or @gbtelemark.

We, the British, along with athletes from the Czech Republic, USA and Russia have been commuting to and from the Austrian glacier; Hintertux, every other week since the end of September for a week of training at a time. The conditions have been variable, with hard ice to high winds, snow fall and even the odd, perfect blue sky day. We had the luxury once again of staying at Tux Diamant, a lovely chalet in Lanersbach owned by British brewer, Tim Jones. Tim runs his brewery from the basement of the chalet; the beer is called Tux 1280 and has a piste related scheme.

Very icy conditions on the first training camp, the Blossom ski’s were sharp!

Blue skies and grey snow! Awesome to have US athletes; Cory Snyder and Tanner Visnick with us this season, as well as many new comers…

Chatting with team-mate, Jasper Taylor, about skiing stuff no doubt

When you ski on a glacier in October, it starts to get much busier…

Louis Hatchwell and I, joined on the chairlift by the Russian and Czech athletes…

A new outfit from Dare 2b – thanks for supporting the team once more!

International training camp with athletes from the USA, Czech Republic, Russia and Great Britain

Since the beginning of summer, I have been in talks with Nino Severino, about a new concept for sport in Ipswich. Nino is now the founder and director of ‘The Hub – University of Suffolk’ where elite athletes, of all ages, in the area can receive and benefit from many services related to sport science. I am currently a student at the University of Suffolk and already work with Manos Georgiadis, my psychologist and Marco Beato, my physiologist. If Manos and Marco are anything to go by, this really will be one of the leading facilities in the country as Nino plans to offer everything from sport agents to social media support, fitness testing, movement screening and much more.

Some of the sport science team and athletes from The Hub

Some of the athletes from The Hub, posing for a photo at the Ipswich Town Football Club

Nino Severino, from The Hub with Graeme Mac, from BBC Suffolk

Participating in vision and motion testing with Jose Tomas

I was nominated for the Suffolk Sports Personality Award, which is run by Suffolk Sport. The nominations were reduced down to 8, we were then put up for a public vote to reduce this number to 3, I was very pleased to learn I had been selected. Zoe Newson, a power-lifter and Harriet Welham, a basketball player, were also shortlisted so I was very proud to be in this mix. It was an even bigger surprise when I actually won.

The Suffolk Sport Awards

Chatting to Graeme Mac, from BBC Suffolk on the stage

Manos Georgiadis, from the University of Suffolk and Alasdair Jones, from Colchester Physiotherapy

There might be a small height discrepancy! Photo credits and thanks to Keith Mindham

I am absolutely chuffed to have won and thank you to everyone that voted and supported the event, including sponsor Harrod Sport.

After the Suffolk Sport Awards, we commuted to the glacier for one final camp and we ended the week with a telemark test event. The contest format differed from usual in that there was no timing, but positive points given for telemark, rather than penalties for not having the telemark position. There were 4 jump lines where the furthest jump earned more points and a timed skate section which was converted into points as well. Essentially, you had to ski fast enough to jump a long way and carry speed into the loom and then skate, ski with good technique and skate fast. It turns out that I collected the most points and won the event. It was also great to see so many kids from Andorra, Spain and Russia alongside World Cup athletes from Norway, France and the USA. There were a total of 41 competitors, from 8 nations and with FreeHeeler festival running alongside, there were many telemark skiers on the glacier which is always great to see. Again, thank you to event sponsor; Tux 1280, hosts; Tux Finkenberg and Hintertux Glacier and all the organisers and volunteers involved.

Over the finish line! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

Having a lot of fun! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

Goggles off! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

It was also lovely to have my parents there, they are not often on place for training so this was a special occasion! My Dad took photos throughout the day of the contest, you can find more of his images here and some of my favourites below.

Julien ‘Pingu’ Annequin, French National Team Coach with Sebastien Mansart, British National Team Coach. Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Neil Dixon, making it happen… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

On course… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Colin Dixon (GBR); Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Barnaby Hodge (GBR); Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Skating with Seb watching on… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

The ladies podium and top 10 with Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR)! Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

The guys podium and top 10 with Trym Nygaard Loken (NOR), Sivert Hole (NOR) and Raphael Mahlknecht (ITA)! Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Thanks to Tux 1280 for sponsoring the event; Argeline and I were happy… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

I now need to get organised for the winter season before heading out to France, there’s a lot to do…

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