Tagged ‘Classic’

A Season Like No Other!

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The World Cup Finals were held in Thyon, Switzerland. The GB Telemark Ski Team included Alec and Colin Dixon, Timote (Tim) Gough and I for this event. Our injured team-mate, Sissi Compton, turned up to show her support and Irish athlete, Max Screawn, joined us throughout the duration of these races. The racing kicked off with a grueling Classic where I finished in 4th, Alec in 21st, Colin in 20th, Tim in 19th and Max unfortunately did not finish (DNF).

The following day and subsequently the final World Cup day (as the Parallel Sprint was unfortunately cancelled due to poor weather conditions) was the Sprint event. Here I placed 4th again, Alec in 20th, Colin and Tim unfortunately did not finish (DNF) and Max in 18th place.

I finished 5th this season in the overall World Cup ranking; 4th in Classic, 5th in Sprint and 7th in Parallel Sprint. It was not my best season but its all part of the game that is sport!

Then the snow began to fall (hence the cancellation of the last race) as we made our way to the World Championships in Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland. Originally the event was meant to be held in Murren (also Switzerland) but they were eventually unable to hold the event due to reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We enjoyed a few powder days before racing again, not ideal race preparation but the good news was that everyone was in the same boat.

The week also included the World Junior Championships (WJC), as well as the World Championship races. The first event was the WJC Sprint where Tim finished 12th and Max in 9th place. The seniors went up to help slip the course; this is part of the true telemark spirit.

The first World Championship race was the Sprint, I finished in 7th, Alec in 11th, Colin in 18th, Tim in 19th and Max in 12th place. This is a career best for Max, Colin and Alec Dixon, and from Alec – the best ever finish in a Sprint from a British man on the world stage.

Following the Sprint, we had a qualification run for the Parallel Sprint and here, I qualified in 3rd with a solid run. I eventually finished in 5th after being knocked out by silver medal winner Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) in the semi-finals.

Alec finished in 13th, Colin in 17th, Tim in 15th and Max in 14th place. Tim and Max also competed in the WJC placing 11th (Tim, after a huge crash) and 10th (Max, after a close race).

The last race, the Classic, included two skate sections and really finished off the racing in style. I finished 5th, Alec in 11th and Colin in 12th place, both results are career best finishes in Classic for the boys! In the WJC Tim finished in 12th and Max in 8th respectably.

These were not quite the results I was hoping for, it has been a difficult season in so many ways but as always it is a pleasure to spend time on snow and even better to compete, especially with all that is going on in the world right now.

Our training buddies, the French, are losing their coach Julien Annequin. He has retired and is passing the baton to former racer, Antione Bouvier, who I am sure will also do a great job. Julien, or Pingu as I call him, will be very missed.

Now time to rest, and take stock of the season. As always, thank you to everyone making it possible, those people include team and personal sponsors, coaches and team, team-mates, committees, organisers, federations, friends and family.

A special shout out to coach, Sebastien Mansart, and his girls for allowing me to stay with them for several months, and to my boyfriend, Will, for taking a massive risk by joining me this winter.

I feel I have learnt so much, both on and off my skis. Who knew there was so much soul searching, work and investment involved in chucking yourself down a mountain.

Top 5 in World Cup Finals!

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The Telemark World Cup tour moved from Rjukan to Geilo this week, both in Norway, and I have recorded my best results in World Cup to date. The first of the 3 races was the Sprint. I was 5th on the first run and then started to feel poorly (stomach ache) but managed to pull through just in time for the second run. I was still at the bottom of the run when the first girl came down. Having just made it, I focused and gave it everything – I wasn’t feeling too strong but held on and managed to keep my place finishing in overall 5th position.

Racing in the Night Sprint

Racing in the Night Sprint

Approaching the Jump

Approaching the Jump

In World Cup, the first 3 are on the podium but the first 6 are awarded prizes. The photo’s below are from the beginning of the Prize giving ceremony and I was awarded a Geilo Telemark knife for 5th place.

Just before Prize giving Cermony

Just before Prize giving Cermony

Geilo World Cup Knife!

Geilo World Cup Knife!

The second of the 3 races was the Classic, the discipline I find the most difficult. I wasn’t so clean when skiing but gave all my energy and finished in 7th position, which is a personal best in the Classic for me.

Johanna Holzman & Laura Grenier-Soliget

Johanna Holzman & Laura Grenier-Soliget

The third race, of today, was the Duel Sprint. The course was a much straighter set on a flatter hill and the field were close in time. I tried my best, but wasn’t feeling so fresh in qualification this morning and could only manage 9th. All in all, 3 good days of racing and experience.

Our View from the Race Hill

Our View from the Race Hill

Duel Sprint Start!

Duel Sprint Start!

Now we are all heading to Spain (Espot) for the World Championships. I will be travelling across with the American Team and look forward to joining some GB team mates and everyone else there!

Chamonix World Cup & World Junior Championships

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The first of the two races was a night Sprint race in Chamonix on Saturday. I skied well on my first run until I sat back in the loom and fell just before the skating section – my time was still not bad considering but I felt disappointed about a silly mistake. The second run was a very wide set course and I lost my rhythm after a wobbly jump landing. All in all, it’s fair to say I was not happy with my performance but tried to put it behind me ready for the next day.

Sprint Night Race in Chamonix

Sprint Night Race in Chamonix

Chamonix Loom

Chamonix Loom

The second day was a Classic in Les Houches (my home mountain) and the weather, snow and course were brilliant. I did my best but lack of sleep, putting too much pressure on myself and lack of fitness (due to chest and throat infection earlier in the season) took it’s toll and yet again, I felt disappointed with my skiing. It wasn’t all bad, there was a good turn out from the British Telemark Ski Team with some of our best racers including: Jack Harvard Taylor, Andrew Clarke, Anna Morrissey, Chris Stewart and a couple of new faces to our team too – as well as Adrian Perry on duty as TD for the first time.

Les Houches Classic Race Entertainment

Les Houches Classic Race Entertainment

1)GER 2)FRA 3)NOR 4)GBR 5)NOR 6)USA

1)GER 2)FRA 3)NOR 4)GBR 5)NOR 6)USA

In the end, my results were:

Chamonix Sprint
World Cup Result – 9th
World Junior Result – 5th

Les Houches Classic
World Cup Result – 10th
World Junior Result – 4th

What now? I return home to Ipswich for a few days off, see my friends and family. I’ve been feeling homesick for a while now so a trip home is just what the coach orders.

Next race? This Saturday a French National Cup in Les Houches.

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