Tagged ‘Montchavin’

World Cup Finals and World Championships

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The final round of World Cup racing was held in Thyon, Switzerland. Thyon is renowned for its punishing Classic race and yet again, this year was no exception. There were two other Brits competing; Louis Hatchwell and Sion Bingham. Louis scored a personal best result finishing in 15th place which is a huge achievement after many difficulties with equipment this season. Sion finished in 22nd place. I came 5th to therefore claim a 4th place in the overall World Cup Classic ranking, which is another personal best result.

Louis on course (Photo credits and thanks to GORAN KROSELJ)

Louis on course (Photo credits and thanks to GORAN KROSELJ)

On day two, we competed in the Parallel Sprint event. I qualified in 3rd position and retained this place after racing Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the head to head heats, achieving my 6th World Cup podium finish. Louis and Sion both finished in 17th position. My overall World Cup Parallel Sprint ranking is now 5th position.

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

The final Sprint race was unfortunately not such a success after crashing in the first run, Louis finished in 29th and Sion in 27th position. Yet again, I finished 5th in the overall World Cup Sprint ranking and moved up to a personal best overall World Cup ranking of 4th place. Louis Hatchwell, the only other Brit to complete the entire World Cup circuit, climbed up to achieve a world ranking of 24th position, also a huge improvement from last season.

After a short break, the telemark community travelled on to La Plagne/Montchavin, France for the FIS World Championships. This is a race held once every two years which can also determine the world’s best skiers and is considered as the most important ‘one-day’ event in the telemark calendar. From Great Britain, the other athletes competing included Louis Hatchwell, Sion Bingham, Alec Dixon and Naila Cardwell. This event has a different feel to it – bigger and more prestigious including a spectacular opening ceremony, more media promotion and the highest quality and largest field of athletes competing.

The nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team being serious as always…

On stage at the World Championship opening ceremony

On stage for bib collection at the World Championship opening ceremony

Fireworks

Fireworks at the World Championship opening ceremony

The Championships kicked off with the Team Parallel Sprint where we (Louis, Sion and I) were matched against the formidable German team. The Germans skied fast and took the win, going on to finish in 3rd place behind Switzerland and Norway.

The second day of racing was the (individual) Parallel Sprint. I qualified in 4th position and went on to finish 5th after losing out to Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) who eventually took the bronze medal. Naila Cardwell skied well and finished in 9th position.

The race piste in La Plagne

The Classic race piste in La Plagne

Day three was the Classic event which contained a very long giant slalom and two skating sections. I am very proud to say I finished on the podium with a bronze medal. Naila finished in 17th, Louis in 22nd and Sion in 31st position.

The Classic World Championship podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Swiss Telemark)

The Classic World Championship podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Swiss Telemark)

Enjoying my medal with my coach, Seb Mansart and team-mates (L to R) Alec Dixon, Louis Hatchwell and Naila Cardwell

Enjoying my medal with my coach, Seb Mansart and team-mates (L to R) Alec Dixon, Louis Hatchwell and Naila Cardwell

The very last day, the Sprint, was challenging for the race organisers but they did a brilliant job to run the race so smoothly. I finished in 10th place after collecting too many penalties, I gave it the best I had in that moment but it just wasn’t my day. Alec finished in 36th place and Naila in 16th, completing their first ever World Championship races. Sion finished in 39th position.

World Championship Bronze Medallist

World Championship Bronze Medallist

The entire World Cup season and World Championship races have been amazing. It wouldn’t be possible without my family, friends, coaches, supporters, team-mates, competitors and sponsors who make it fun, inspiring and just completely awesome – a huge thank you to all.

Next up, the final French Cup races and French Championships!

British Telemark Championships

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The season started slowly with very little snow cover in the Alps making training conditions practically impossible but luckily, the snow started to fall thick and fast at the beginning of January. This was just in time for the British Telemark Championships in Murren, Switzerland where we had some free-skiing, powder skiing and even some gate training before our racing began.

Jasmin Taylor Powder Skiing

Enjoying the powder snow..

..maybe a little too much!

..maybe a little too much!

GB Telemark Powder Day

The GB Telemark Team standing in front of the famous Swiss peaks: Eiger ‘Ogre’, Monch ‘Munk’ and Jungfrau ‘Maiden’

The racing kicked off with the Giant Slalom, a discipline which is no longer part of the World Cup calendar – it does include a jump but is missing the usual loom and skate section. Following that we competed in the Sprint, we had great conditions and a brilliantly run race with a very high level of skiing. The final day was the Classic with tougher conditions and poor visibility which made it challenging, but again, the racing ran smoothly with happy faces and a great atmosphere.

Wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland

Wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland (Photo copyrights and thanks to Colin Shepherd)

James French, Fred Thomas, Jasmin Taylor, Murren, Switzerland, British Telemark Championships 2016

James French, Fred Thomas and Jasmin Taylor wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland at the British Telemark Championships 2016 (Photo copyrights and thanks to Colin Shepherd)

I’m very pleased to say that I am now British Champion 2016. Congratulations also to Alistair Cruz, the men’s Champion as well as Fred Thomas, James French, Tara Parks and Naylia Cardwell who all finished with podium positions.

On Tuesday (26th January) the World Cup tour kicked off once more in La Plagne, France with a Dual Sprint. I qualified in 3rd position but was knocked out by Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) in the second round of heats who eventually went on to take 3rd place. The following day we raced on the other side of the resort in Montchavin, it was a Sprint race where I finished in 6th position with a very close set of results. During the races, the British Telemark Ski Team were followed by BBC Sport and BBC Look East as well as a reporter from In the Snow Magazine – I will be posting more details about this soon.

The GB Telemark Ski Team in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

The GB Telemark Ski Team in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

The Dual Sprint in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

We are now preparing to compete in another round of World Cup races over the weekend in Les Contamines, France before heading on to Espot, Spain for more of the same. It’s a tightly packed, exciting schedule this season and you can watch all the action as always on the live streaming link HERE.

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