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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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!