Tagged ‘Rjukan’

Norwegian World Cups and World Junior Championships

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Another round of racing complete, this time in Norway – first Hurdal and then Rjukan. In Hurdal, racing began with a skate-heavy Classic and I am very pleased to say I finished on the podium in 3rd position behind Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR), achieving my first ever World Cup podium in the discipline.

The Classic Podium with

The Classic Podium with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

The following day, we raced the Parallel Sprint which was filmed for the Olympic Channel and Norwegian television and was broadcast on NRK2. I qualified in 3rd place and retained my position in the head to head heats, finishing on the podium once more. I raced Beatrice Zimmerman (SUI) in the quarter finals, Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) in the semi finals and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the small final.

The bib/course selection with Andreja Jovan, FIS referee

The bib/course selection with Andreja Jovan, FIS Race Director

The Parallel Sprint Podium in Hurdal with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

The Parallel Sprint Podium in Hurdal with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

Can we all fit up there? Not sure!

The final day of racing in Hurdal was the Sprint event, I finished in 6th place after collecting too many penalties. Once racing was complete, we got packed up and travelled to Oslo to collect the British juniors: Naila Cardwell, Sion Bingham, Alec and Colin Dixon and Jasper Taylor.

Norway's most beautiful mountain; Gaustatoppen

Norway’s most beautiful mountain; Gaustatoppen

The race piste in Rjukan

The race piste in Rjukan

The race days in Rjukan included both World Cup races and World Junior Championship races, which made for a very busy schedule. The World Junior Championship Classic kicked off the racing, followed by the World Cup Classic later that afternoon, I finished in 4th place and skied a penalty-free race which I was pleased with after my Sprint race in Hurdal.

The Classic

The Classic (Photo thanks and credits to Elen Le Bouhellec)

The second race, the Sprint, again commenced with juniors racing in the morning followed by a flood-lit World Cup race. I unfortunately crashed but carried on to finish in 9th place. Louis finished in 17th, Sion in 27th, Alec DNF and Colin in 31st position. Jasper finished in 12th and Naila in 10th place which are both their personal best results!

The final World Cup race, the Parallel Sprint, began as always with the qualification. After finishing in 4th position I was drawn against Spela Micunovic (SLO), then Kim Aegerter (SUI) meeting Amelie Reymond (SUI) in the semi finals and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the small final. Guro took the win and I finished in 4th place once more. This race was also broadcast on Norwegian television and this time on the main channel; NRK1 which is brilliant for the sport.

The Smal Final with Guro Kjolseth (NOR)

The Small Final with Guro Kjolseth (NOR) (Photo thanks and credits to Elen Le Bouhellec)

The last day in Rjukan finished with the World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint and a podium for Great Britain! A huge well done and congratulations to Jasper Taylor for his 2nd place! It was very intense viewing and Jasper skied so well, more proof that GB Telemark is on the up!

Jasper Taylor making history for GB Telemark on the World Junior Championship podium

Jasper Taylor making history for GB Telemark on the World Junior Championship podium

A happy GB Telemark Team along with coach and mascot

(L to R) Colin Dixon, Jasper Taylor, Seb Mansart (coach), Sion Bingham, Alec Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Lenaig Mansart (mascot), Naila Cardwell

The British results from the World Junior Championships:
Naila Cardwell: 14th (CL), 13th (SP), 9th (PS)
Jasper Taylor: 29th (CL), 15th (SP), 2nd!!! (PS)
Sion Bingham: 26th (CL), 23rd (SP), 17th (PS)
Alec Dixon: 27th (CL), 28th (SP), 17th (PS)
Colin Dixon: 30th (CL), 25th (SP), 17th (PS)

The final round of World Cup racing moves to Thyon, Switzerland later this week before we all head to La Plagne, France for the World Championships.

The Final World Cups

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Following the races in Germany and Slovenia, the tour moved to Rjukan, Norway. The racing began with 2 days of Sprint races, followed by a team Dual Sprint and an individual Dual Sprint. The weather was superb throughout and the views were spectacular as always.

Rjukan, Norway

Rjukan, Norway

On the first day of racing I finished in 6th place. The second day of racing was very interesting for me – after a tricky first run (9th position) and a good second run (2nd position) I jumped up of 5 positions to get a 4th place. That evening we raced the Team Dual Sprint event under the floodlights looking out across at the Norwegian sunset. In the first round, the British Team (myself, Louis Hatchwell and Alistair Cruz) raced a strong Team Germany. Unfortunately, we didn’t go through to the next round but we certainly put up a good fight with a particularly close match from Louis Hatchwell and one very explosive crash from Alistair Cruz!

Jonas Schmid (GER) vs Louis Hatchwell (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Motten V Eriksen)

Jonas Schmid (GER) vs Louis Hatchwell (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

Alistair Cruz (GBR) vs ‎Thomas Orlovius (GER)‬(Photo credits and thanks to Motten V Eriksen)

Alistair Cruz (GBR) vs ‎Thomas Orlovius (GER)‬ (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

The final day in Rjukan ended with (the ‘normal’ individual) Dual Sprint. After a poor qualification run littered with jump penalties (a short course that cannot afford any penalties), I qualified 13th meeting training buddy and fellow competitor Argeline Tan-Bouquet (FRA). I skied fast but Argeline pipped me to the loom and with one less penalty than me, she was too difficult to catch. This resulted in a 9th place finish for me.

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The Sprint in Rjukan, Norw ay (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

After Norway, I returned to Les Houches to empty my suitcase for a final re-packing. At this point I realised that the process of emptying my bag and refilling it hadn’t stopped since before heading to Murren, Switzerland for the first time in early January for the British Championships. I was now returning to Murren for the second time this winter for the World Cup Finals feeling tired but ready to give my best for 3 more days.

The racing kicked off with the Classic, a discipline I don’t consider my strongest yet my World Cup ranking was the best it had ever been. I was lying in 5th place following a 5th place finish in France and a 4th in Spain earlier in the season. The course was set by my coach Sebastien Mansart, it was dynamic with a very intimidating skate at the end. I finished in 7th, stung by penalties but a position good enough to hang onto my new personal best world ranking.

And then comes the Sprint, the best day of my season and probably the best race of my career to date. The run was not perfect (there’s no such thing in fact) and it wasn’t anything way beyond the norm. Everything came together; the speed, just 1 penalty, a clean jump, a strong skate and clear mind – it was good enough for 3rd place after the first run. Knowing my second run is usually always better, I kept it simple and did my best once more and this time it was good enough to finish in 2nd place. That feeling was immense, I felt proud, satisfied, happy and relieved.

(L to R) Jasmin Taylor #2 (GBR), Amelie Reymond #1 (SUI), Beatrice Zimmerman #3 (SUI)

(L to R) Jasmin Taylor #2 (GBR), Amelie Reymond #1 (SUI), Beatrice Zimmerman #3 (SUI)

The very final day of racing; the Dual Sprint. I qualified against Theresa Fichtl (GER) and won, then met the eventual winner, Beatrice Zimmerman (SUI) and lost out finishing in 5th place.

My goal for the season was to be more consistent and I finished between 4th and 6th position 11 times, with 1 World Cup podium. My overall World Cup ranking is 5th place and that has been a goal since the beginning of my telemark career and finally achieving it feels awesome.

(L to R) MC (Kandahar member and team fan),

(L to R) M.C. (Kandahar member and team fan), James French, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Alistair Cruz

Murren, Switzerland

Murren, Switzerland

It’s been a fantastic season and I would like to thank everyone that makes it possible: my sponsors, coaches, supporters, parents, family, friends, boyfriend, university, telemark World Cup organisers and committee, GB team-mates and fellow athletes.

Rjukan!

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Madi (USA Telemark Team member) and I arrived in Rjukan after a long day travelling from Geneva, Switzerland. First day was training and qualification for the following day of the Duel Sprint World Cup race. I qualified in 8th position (only top 8 qualify) which meant I would be racing Sigrid Rykhus the following day, who eventually went on to win. I did my best but she was too strong and I was knocked out. I finished in 5th position.

Race Hill!

Race Hill!

Telemark Friends!

Telemark Friends!

Later that day, we had qualification for the following day (another Duel Sprint). I am ranked 9th for FIS points and was therefore paired with a Swiss who is ranked 8th. The winner of the race would go on to qualify and she won round one. I was ahead second run and hoping to close the gap, but unfortunately I had collected too many gate penalty’s and I was disqualified. All good experience though and I am having such a good time!

Rjukan Race Hill from the town at the bottom!

Rjukan Race Hill from the town at the bottom!

Johanna and Nina waiting at the top to start!

Johanna and Nina waiting at the top to start!

Tomorrow I travel with the American Team to meet the other World Cup Telemark racer’s in Geilo (Norway) for World Cup Finals!

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