Tagged ‘Argeline Tan Bouquet’

What a Season!

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A lot has happened since my previous blog, too much to report every detail… The World Cup season is now complete and I am proud to say I have a new world ranking of 2nd place. All British athletes competing recorded personal best results this season. As a team we finished 5th in the Nation’s Cup, behind France, Switzerland, Norway and Germany. If you had asked me how I was feeling after the World Cup races in Norway, I doubt I would have believed such an end to the season could be possible…

I travelled along with teammate; Timoté (Tim) Gough and coach; Sebastien (Seb) Mansart to Norway mid-February to compete in the FIS Cup in Asker and World Cup in Al.

Tim has improved no end this season and his spirit has been a constant source of strength for me.

I placed 1st and 3rd in the FIS Cup races in Asker, which only added to my frustration when I finished 4th, 4th and 5th at the World Cup races in Al. This was proving to be a head scratching moment, and although my results were not bad, they were equally not quite the positions I was chasing.

Following Norway, I felt I needed an intervention. Competitor, and friend; Beatrice Zimmermann had asked me “when was the last time you did something for yourself Jaz” and I was saddened to realise I couldn’t recall a single moment since the beginning of winter.

Once I was home in France, I got in my car and drove to Marseille and spent 24 hours discovering a new place. It was a breath of fresh air. Later that week I returned to training with a new sense of self. Until then, every choice I had made was based on whether or not it would be good for my performance, and I still wasn’t performing to my best – so I decided I might as well do what I like, and then something shifted…

The next World Cup was held on my home hill in Les Houches, France. My Dad turned up to support and that day, I won – a victory at home, it doesn’t get much better than that with all my team-mates, training buddies and locals present.

I followed this up with a 2nd place the following day, winning the second run. Magnus McIntosh scored two top 15 finishes, Ben Emsley was unfortunately ill and didn’t race. Tim, despite suffering a nasty crash on the first day and being unable to compete, somehow managed a top 15 finish on the second day – of which was also the strongest day for Colin Dixon who finished 15th and Sissi Compton who scored a personal best with an 11th place.

We packed up straight after the race in Les Houches to travel on to Murren, Switzerland for the next World Cup and combined World Junior Championship (WJC) events. In the WJC Sissi Compton finished 13th in the Classic, 11th in the Sprint and 12th in the Parallel Sprint (PS). Magnus finished 13th, 12th and 9th, Tim finished 8th, 5th and 17th, some phemonenal results from our junior racers.

In the World Cup Colin placed 12th, 11th and 11th; his career best finishes, and Ben didn’t race in the Classic as he was still suffering the affects of being unwell, though managed 9th and 16th, again a career best with the 9th place.

I finished 2nd in both the Classic and Sprint and then won the PS against Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) in the final. I just remember feeling so calm throughout the race and despite being behind entering the loom, my skate carried me to my most emotional victory to date.

We then travelled on to Krvavec, Slovenia for World Cup Finals, I think by this point we were all starting to feel the physical effects of fatigue and prolonged stress but we held tight as a team. Here Colin achieved a further two top 15 finishes, Ben one top 10 and one top 15, while Tim managed three top 15 finishes.

I finished in 3rd in the Classic and 2nd in the Sprint, taking my podium tally to 8 this winter, 7 of which were consecutive. I finished 4th in the PS which was enough to retain 2nd place in the Overall World Cup standings, my best world ranking to date.

The results in the overall standings and discipline standings for the team are as follows;

  • Jasmin Taylor – Overall 2nd; Sprint (SP) 2nd, Classic (CL) 4th, Parallel Sprint (PS) 4th
  • Bonnie Price – Overall 25th; SP 21st, CL 18th
  • Sissi Compton – Overall 30th; SP 20th
  • Timoté Gough – Overall 17th; SP 15th, CL 17th, PS 15th
  • Colin Dixon – Overall 18th; SP 14th, CL 18th, PS 17th
  • Ben Emsley – Overall 20th; SP 19th, CL 18th, PS 16th
  • Magnus McIntosh – Overall 22nd; SP 24th, CL 26th, PS 23rd
  • Max Screawn – Overall 21st; SP 16th, CL 22nd, PS 29th (Max skis for Ireland although he is like a teammate and part of the British program)

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, coaches, teammates, sponsors, organisers, committees, federations and fellow athletes, all of who make this adventure possible.

Week of World Cup

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The season kicked off for me in the best way possible by winning the FIS Cup at home in Les Houches! The field was full of international athletes ahead of the week of World cup races to follow…

My teammates have been training hard and improving fast. Bonnie Price finished in 17th in the women. The first British man was Ben Emsley in 14th, then Magnus McIntosh in 16th (despite suffering a shoulder injury the previous week), Colin Dixon in 22nd, and Tim Gough unfortunately crashed out in the loom and did not finish (DNF). International athletes; Max Screawn (IRL) and Lucas Pages (AND) are also part of the GB Telemark training program, Max finished in 20th and Lucas in 23rd place.

No time to spare after the race, we left first thing the next morning to prepare for racing in Saint Gervais, France. Our team sponsors, Leggett Immobilier were on place to support us at the event, here is a teaser video clip they made.

The first day of World Cup racing, the Sprint, didn’t get off to a perfect start. I hip-slid a gate on the steep, a mistake I also made at the FIS Cup in Les Houches though there it lost me a lot less time. However in the end, I managed a 6th place. Bonnie finished in 16th, Ben in 15th, Colin in 20th, Max in 18th, Tim, Magnus and Lucas DNF.

Day two was the first Classic event of the season, it is always difficult to judge and manage nerves before this discipline. I finished in 5th, Bonnie in 16th, Tim in 19th, Ben in 20th, Magnus in 23rd, Colin in 24th, Max in 21st and Lucas DNF.

This was the first World Cup event for Lenaig Mansart, daughter of the GB Telemark coach and regular training buddy for the British, congratulations to Lenaig on this debut.

We packed up and set off for Switzerland straight after the race, returning to the host of the most recent World Championship; Melchsee-Frutt, although the race piste was totally unique and far more challenging.

The piste was intimidating, it was steep and icy with plenty of blind-spots and rollers. The shear length of the courses were all towards the longer end of range – all in all, it certainly increased the challenge!

The first event was the Sprint, here I finished 2nd, it always feels good to finish on the podium at the end of a race. Bonnie finished in 12th place. Tim recorded the best ever finish for a British man in a Sprint with 10th place! Ben and Max also did a great job, strangely both placing in exactly 12th position, Magnus recorded his first top 15 with a 14th place, Colin in 17th and Lucas in 16th position.

The second race was the Classic, and this one really was a whopper. I placed 5th, Bonnie 15th, Tim again skied brilliantly into 11th, Magnus in 19th, Ben in 20th, Colin in 21st, Max in 18th and Lucas 22nd place.

Then came two days of Parallel Sprint, which kicks off with qualification. On the first day I qualified 1st and eventually ended up 4th, Tim and Ben also qualified in the top 16 men, Tim eventually finishing in 13th and Ben in 14th place.

The second day, I qualified 2nd and eventually ended up in 4th (again), Ben also qualified and eventually finished in 15th place.

That concludes a wild week of racing; 7 races in 9 days! Several ups and downs throughout the week but always lessons learnt and valuable experiences to carry forward. I feel proud of the progress made by my teammates, and feel excited to see what happens next.

A special mention to Maier Sports for our new team wear, I am sure we can be seen from almost anywhere now!

Now it is time for some rest before training and working in the ski school for ESF Les Houches ahead of the next round of races in Norway!

The World Cup, COVID and a Podium

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We began training on the slopes back in October with our first camp in Hintertux, Austria. This season, Slovenian athlete; Masa Strakl, has been a regular training buddy of mine, along with the French Telemark Ski Team who have always been close by.

I spent time with the Swiss Telemark Ski Team, training up on the Saas Fee glacier. The conditions were often ideal and I learnt a lot throughout my stay – thank you to the Swiss for having me.  

I was even lucky enough to spend time with the German Telemark Ski Team in Kaunertal, Austria. We were always vigilant to stay within the rules, and as the season has progressed the restrictions have become, well more restrictive.

The pre-season training was very interesting for me, there were many positive points to not-being-able to return home between camps, and spending time with other teams opened my mind to new ideas. I do of course miss my family and friends very much; I can’t imagine this time has been easy for anyone.

As December arrived, so did my boyfriend Will who, during winter, works at Praz Sports just beyond Chamonix. Coach; Sebastien Mansart, managed to organise training in Flaine and then Plaine Joux within France, although much time was spent cross country skiing as the resorts have remained closed here in Les Houches.

The COVID situation within the UK became more serious recently and further restrictions were placed on Brits leaving and entering the country. This made traveling very complicated for the majority of my teammates.

The GB Telemark Ski Team has a new clothing sponsor; Maier Sports. The clothing provides a high-quality, bespoke fit along with a five-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship on all products. We are very grateful to Maier Sports for their support; it will now be very easy to spot us on the slopes.

The racing kicked off in Oberjoch, Germany with two races within each discipline; the minimum requirement for a “full” season. The tour has suffered with cancellations of the Slovenian and French part of the circuit, although much work is happening behind the scenes to replace these lost events. We also had competitions in Thyon, Switzerland in the form of two FIS races, which served as the perfect warm up event for the World Cup races in Germany.

The first two days of racing were both Sprint events, I finished 4th and 7th and GB new-comer, Timote (Tim) Gough finished 24th and did not finish (DNF) on day two. Max Screawn, Irish athlete, finished 21st and a career best of 16th place. As you can see below, it was a good day for Switzerland.

The following two days were Parallel Sprint (PS) events; the PS is always so exciting. I managed a 5th and then 9th place after a crash in the first round of racing. Tim and Max unfortunately didn’t qualify within the top 16 men.

A good friend of mine, Matti Lopez (FRA) crashed in the final, finished 2nd but injuring his knee, a small word to wish him well for the future.

The final day was one to remember! Two Classic events after all those races previously, proved to be grueling both physically and mentally. I finished 2nd behind Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and ahead of Johanna Holzmann (GER) in the first race which felt a real achievement after a tough week. The second race I collected more penalties and finished 6th but was pleased with the day none the less. Tim finished 21st and 20th after skiing very well; Max was 18th and 21st respectably.

It is great to be back in the start gate after such a crazy year. Thank you to all organizers, sponsors and supporters for making this possible. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I am doing.

Fingers crossed for more races very soon!

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…