Tagged ‘Johanna Holzmann’

The World Cup, COVID and a Podium

Posted on:

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

Posted on:

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…

Categories

Archives