Tagged ‘France’

A Full Update

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Preparation

It has been a while since my last blog, so I thought I would start with a brief summary of what we have been doing! The summer was spent in Ipswich, England, catching up on my studies at the University of Suffolk and preparing physically for the World Cup season.

The GB Telemark training kicked off in a different style this year, we decided to have a team building camp in Brittany, surfing and learning new skills.

We soon returned to the slopes to start technical training, as always, the team is based in Hintertux, Austria, staying at Tux Diamant in Lanersbach.

This season is slightly different for me as it is the first year I have my boyfriend, Will, with me for the winter. He can telemark now (just so you know).

FIS Cup

The first races of the season were FIS Cup events (a series of races running alongside the World Cup) with day-one, a Sprint, held in Villars sur Ollons, Switzerland. I finished in 5th and British new-comer, Bonnie Price finished 16th in her first international race. The British boys were also on good form with Louis Hatchwell in 16th, Sion Bingham in 17th, Alec Dixon in 23rd, Ben Emsley in 25th, and Colin Dixon in 26th place.

That same weekend, on day-two, we raced another Sprint held in Les Houches, France which was a British hosted organisation. That day I finished in 2nd, and Bonnie Price finished in 17th place. The field was incredibly strong, with many World Cup athletes present, including the Germans, Swiss, British, French, Russians and Czechs. Louis Hatchwell placed 14th, with Sion Bingham in 19th, Ben Emsley in 21st, Alec Dixon in 22nd, Colin Dixon in 25th and Jack Emsley in 28th place.

Louis Blyth, one of our Development Team athletes finished 8th in the overall French Cup ranking, the results I have presented are based on the FIS Cup ranking (it was a dual purpose event to allow all ages to compete).

It was also great to have Leggett Immobilier, GB Telemark, sponsor on place to support us.

British Championships

The British (Army, and Navy) Championships were held in Pralognan-La-Vanoise, France. The organisation was impeccable and the standard of skiing was higher than ever. Thank you so much to the British Army for putting on such a great event. The first race kicked off with the Giant Slalom (GS), a discipline now extinct from World Cup competition. This was followed by the Sprint, and then the Classic discipline.

The overall results for the women were as follows;

  1. Jasmin Taylor
  2. Bonnie Price
  3. Dominique Symons

The overall results for the men were as follows;

  1. Jasper Taylor
  2. Louis Hatchwell
  3. Sion Bingham

If you would like more information or to see the full results, click here. The team is bigger than ever, there is a lot of young talent coming through with the likes of Harry Fletcher, Louis Blyth, Sissi Compton and many more!

World Cup

Pralognan-La-Vanoise 

The British hosted event was the opening World Cup race of the season. It was amazing to have so many Brits in town supporting us, including my parents and god-parents! The two-days were both Sprint events and on day-one I finished in 4th, Louis Hatchwell in 20th, Ben Emsley in 22nd, Sion Bingham in 24th, Jack Emsley in 26th, Colin Dixon in 28th with DNF (did not finish) from Jasper Taylor and Alec Dixon. New-comers, Bonnie Price and Max Carnegie were the race forerunners.

Day-two of competition I found myself on the World Cup podium in 3rd place, this took my World Cup medal tally to 30 which means I now hold a British record. You can read an article with Planet Ski here and News Chain here. Bonnie Price finished 19th in her first World Cup event, Sion Bingham in 22nd, Jasper Taylor in 23rd, Alec Dixon in 24th, Louis Hatchwell in 26th, Ben Emsley in 29th, Jack Emsley in 32nd and Colin Dixon in 33rd place.

Samoens

We then moved on to Samoens, France for the French hosted leg of the tour. There we skied two back-to-back Classic events, followed by a Sprint. I placed 6th, Jasper Taylor scored his first top-20 of the season with 18th, Sion Bingham 24th, Jack Emsley finished 25th, Colin Dixon 27th and DNF Ben Emsley who suffered a huge crash on course.

In day-two of Classic racing, I had more success finishing 2nd, always good to be back on the podium. Jasper Taylor placed 19th, Sion Bingham 22nd, Ben Emsley 23rd, Jack Emsley 24th with Colin Dixon in 26th position.

In the final race, I finished 5th, Jasper Taylor skied very well into 17th, Jack Emsley scored a personal best (PB) of 21st place. Unfortunately it was a DNF for Ben Emsley, Colin Dixon, Sion Bingham who all happened to fall on the same gate, all boys walked away injury free.

Thank you to Leggett Immobilier, team sponsor, for coming along to support us on location. It was also great to have Irish athlete; Max Screawn, join us for the duration of these races as one of our own! He made an awesome World Cup debut with 21st, 28th and 19th place finishes, very respectable. 

Now the tour travels on to Rjukan, Norway for the next round of competitions!

World Cup Finals and World Championships

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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.

Louis on course (Photo credits and thanks to GORAN KROSELJ)

Louis on course (Photo credits and thanks to GORAN KROSELJ)

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.

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

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 nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team being serious as always…

On stage at the World Championship opening ceremony

On stage for bib collection at the World Championship opening ceremony

Fireworks

Fireworks at the World Championship opening ceremony

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.

The race piste in La Plagne

The Classic race piste in La Plagne

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 Classic World Championship podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Swiss Telemark)

The Classic World Championship podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Swiss Telemark)

Enjoying my medal with my coach, Seb Mansart and team-mates (L to R) Alec Dixon, Louis Hatchwell and Naila Cardwell

Enjoying my medal with my coach, Seb Mansart and team-mates (L to R) Alec Dixon, Louis Hatchwell and Naila Cardwell

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.

World Championship Bronze Medallist

World Championship Bronze Medallist

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!

Pre-season Continued…

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Pre-season preparations have continued with further camps in Hintertux, Austria and Tignes, France with many French and British team athletes. Conditions were brilliant during our stay in Hintertux for the French committee training camp, to which the British athletes were kindly invited to join. We spent time training in giant slalom and skating, which often proves challenging at the high altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux

Great conditions in Hintertux

Great conditions

Skate training with the French

Skate training with the French team

GB Telemark have now received their brand new clothing for the season; we are proud to be wearing Dare 2b and absolutely loving it! The kit is very warm and looks great – it’s so nice to finally have a matching team uniform. The team is now more united than ever, the clothing helps to promote team cohesion and professionalism, and as a result we have a stronger bond. A few people have questioned why we have chosen a green and grey colour scheme – we wanted to stand out as there are many nations in red, white and blue on the telemark circuit.  We think these outfits are bold and smart. On behalf of GB Telemark, I would like to say a huge thank you to Dare 2b for providing our clothing, it’s another great step forward for the team.

Enjoying ourselves in our new Dare 2b clothing!

Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Tara Parks wearing Dare 2b ‘Welcome to our Mountain’

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in the new Dare 2b clothing

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in Dare 2b

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Following Hintertux, the team travelled on to Tignes (after a few days rest) for another training camp. This time, we weren’t quite so lucky with the conditions – there has been more snow fall than I have ever seen before. In total, a meter of snow fell in 5 days on the van in the car park and on the glacier there was approximately 1.5 meters which looks very hopeful for a solid winter base. Unfortunately, it didn’t make for the best training conditions as we lost a few days when the glacier was shut. However, when we were able to do giant slalom, the blizzard which was -17 degrees at its worst, certainly added to the challenge.

There's a lot of snow in Tignes

There’s a lot of snow in Tignes

Snow up to my knees!

Snow up to my knees!

Next time we head out to the mountains, we will be racing in the opening World Cup in Hintertux – not long now!

British Telemark Championships

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The season started slowly with very little snow cover in the Alps making training conditions practically impossible but luckily, the snow started to fall thick and fast at the beginning of January. This was just in time for the British Telemark Championships in Murren, Switzerland where we had some free-skiing, powder skiing and even some gate training before our racing began.

Jasmin Taylor Powder Skiing

Enjoying the powder snow..

..maybe a little too much!

..maybe a little too much!

GB Telemark Powder Day

The GB Telemark Team standing in front of the famous Swiss peaks: Eiger ‘Ogre’, Monch ‘Munk’ and Jungfrau ‘Maiden’

The racing kicked off with the Giant Slalom, a discipline which is no longer part of the World Cup calendar – it does include a jump but is missing the usual loom and skate section. Following that we competed in the Sprint, we had great conditions and a brilliantly run race with a very high level of skiing. The final day was the Classic with tougher conditions and poor visibility which made it challenging, but again, the racing ran smoothly with happy faces and a great atmosphere.

Wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland

Wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland (Photo copyrights and thanks to Colin Shepherd)

James French, Fred Thomas, Jasmin Taylor, Murren, Switzerland, British Telemark Championships 2016

James French, Fred Thomas and Jasmin Taylor wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland at the British Telemark Championships 2016 (Photo copyrights and thanks to Colin Shepherd)

I’m very pleased to say that I am now British Champion 2016. Congratulations also to Alistair Cruz, the men’s Champion as well as Fred Thomas, James French, Tara Parks and Naylia Cardwell who all finished with podium positions.

On Tuesday (26th January) the World Cup tour kicked off once more in La Plagne, France with a Dual Sprint. I qualified in 3rd position but was knocked out by Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) in the second round of heats who eventually went on to take 3rd place. The following day we raced on the other side of the resort in Montchavin, it was a Sprint race where I finished in 6th position with a very close set of results. During the races, the British Telemark Ski Team were followed by BBC Sport and BBC Look East as well as a reporter from In the Snow Magazine – I will be posting more details about this soon.

The GB Telemark Ski Team in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

The GB Telemark Ski Team in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

The Dual Sprint in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

We are now preparing to compete in another round of World Cup races over the weekend in Les Contamines, France before heading on to Espot, Spain for more of the same. It’s a tightly packed, exciting schedule this season and you can watch all the action as always on the live streaming link HERE.

Pre-Season Training in Tignes

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This year pre-season training, in preparation for the first round of the World Cup later this month, was in Tignes – a very high southern French glacier. Myself and development GB team-mate, Louis Hatchwell, arrived last weekend and spent the week with new telemark hopeful Jasper Taylor (yes, another Taylor!) and were also joined by French team skiers Camille Martinet and Clement Bergeretti. Tignes is 3500m above sea level so you can imagine that the air is a little thinner up here which makes training even tougher than usual, especially for us Brits who may as well live at zero-metres altitude.

Hiking in the mountains surrounding St. Foy (L-R) Camille, Jasper, Me, Louis

Hiking in the Mountains around St. Foy (L-R) Camille, Jasper, Me, Louis (Photo courtesy of coach, Seb Mansart)

This was the second of two weeks spent in Tignes and during our first “stage” we (myself and Louis) were joined by a young Scotsman – Sion Bingham, French team skier – Maelle Froissart and GB team skier – Alistair Cruz. Unfortunately, Alistair Cruz snapped his Achilles tendon whilst playing badminton and we are all wishing Alistair well with a speedy recovery.

Here are some more photos from our time in Tignes – enjoy!

Londoner's take the tube to work, well we take the funiculaire or the "Narnia Closet" as Louis calls it...

Londoner’s take the tube to work, well we take the funiculaire or the “The Wardrobe to Narnia” as Louis calls it…

It was a bad weather day so we played badminton - faces say it all...

It was a bad weather day so we played badminton – faces say it all… (L-R) Coach – Seb Manart, Alistair, Sion and Louis

In my mind, this is what paradise looks like. I do mean the mountain, not that bloke (sorry Hatchwell) ;)

In my mind, this is what paradise looks like – I do mean the mountain, not the bloke! (Sorry, no offence Hatchwell)

Next up – Hintertux World Cup!

1st Place in French Cup: Auris en Oisans

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The Telemark Club des Houches traveled a 7 hour round trip to Auris en Oisans for a sunny Coupe de France race near the famous French resort, Les Deux Alpes. Auris en Oisans was my very first telemark race and it was there that I learnt how much fun telemark racing could be.

Auris en Oisans - Perfect Conditions

Auris en Oisans – Perfect Racing Conditions

I skied two clean runs, with no penalties as well as having the fastest ski time – so all in all, I was happy with my performance and the long drive was worth it.

Giant Slalom

Giant Slalom

Enjoying the Podium with French National Team girls - Argeline Tan (Left) and Océane Verbeck (Right)

Enjoying the Podium with French National Team girls – Argeline Tan in 2nd Place (Left), Myself in 1st Place, Océane Verbeck in 3rd Place (Right)

I’ll be spending half the week in Les Houches, flying back home to England on Thursday for some rest and then off to the U.S.A for some skiing with the American National Telemark Team and the World Cup Steamboat Springs races.

Les Contamines World Cup

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The World Cup Telemark circuit continues, and this time – in Les Contamines, France. What an exciting set of races with plenty of thrills and unfortunately, plenty of spills also. I wasn’t the only British Telemarker present, British Team-mates Anna Morrissey, James French, Frederick Thomas and team captain, Jack Harvard Taylor were also competing.

Opening Ceremony

Anna Morrissey, Jack Harvard Taylor, James French, Me

Team-mate (Anna) and I, received some quality after-ski wear from Snow Angels Ski Wear, so comfortable and perfect to wear at World Cup opening ceremonies – all of their products are practical and functional which is exactly what we need.

snow angel ski wear

Me, Anna Morrissey

It was a tough set of races for me, I’m not satisfied with my skiing but taking the positive, I have learnt a lot and gained more, much need, experience in the World Cup.

Results

Day 1 – Sprint
Finished in 7th position.
Day 2 – Parallel Sprint
Qualified in 7th again, ultimately finishing in joint 5th position.
Day 3 – Sprint
Again, finished in 7th position – tough conditions today.

Les Contamines

Busy Brain

I travel back to the UK tomorrow to spend Christmas with my family.

Aiguille du Midi

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We are coming to the end of the season now, this being my second living in the Chamonix valley and I’m ashamed to admit that I have hardly skiied anywhere but Les Houches! Well, this week myself, (GB team-mate) Jack Harvard Taylor, (flat-mate) Madi McKinstry, (training-mate) Clément Bergeretti and (coach) Seb Mansart have changed that. Yesterday we ventured up to the highest point of all – Aiguille du Midi (3843m) and skiied the famous Vallée Blanche.

The Gang - 3843m High!

The Gang – 3843m High!

The Aiguille du Midi Peak

The Aiguille du Midi Peak

One for the Sponsor's -Thank you!

One for the Sponsor’s -Thank you!

I come from Mars

I come from Mars

Today was spent climbing on La Joux in Chamonix with Jack Harvard Taylor and Madi McKinstry, which was also really fun and nice to do something completely different.

Here I Come!

Here I Come!

Myself, Jack & Madi at the top of the rock!

Myself, Jack & Madi at the top of the rock!

Having such a good time! Another blog update soon.

French Championships in Val D’Allos

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Just returned back to Les Houches after travelling to Val D’Allos in the southern Alps for the French Championships. We arrived the night before the race, after getting lost, around 2:30am – unfortunately for us, we had a rather long classic to deal with!  I was feeling a bit dizzy before hand, so felt happy just to make it to the finish line – I was 3rd junior and 4th overall.

Later that day we had the qualification run for the duel sprint, which was cancelled in the end due to bad weather – so we will all have to wait until Tignes (the last race of the season) until we can continue with the race.

Racer's Re-Fueling! Photo courtesy of Telemark-France

Racer’s Re-Fueling! Photo courtesy of Telemark-France

Waiting for the Jump Inspection! Photo courtesy of Telemark-France

Waiting for the Jump Inspection! Photo courtesy of Telemark-France

Qualification Run

Qualification Run

Next Stop! Les Houches French Cup this Sunday!

All photo’s courtesy of Telemark-France, Thank you!

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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