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.