Tagged ‘Lenaig Mansart’

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 Replacement World Cup

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Last week, we were lucky enough to compete in Plaine Joux, Passy, France. This event was a replacement for the lost races in Krvavec, Slovenia and St Gervais, France.

In my blogs, I mainly report the British perspective, but for more information you can visit FIS Telemark.

I recently recorded a podcast with Josh Madsen from Freeheel Life, you can listen to that HERE. In The Snow recently published an article HERE as well as Ski Press HERE, both articles are linked to our new team sponsorship with Maier Sports.

I was happy to be joined by 5 of my team-mates; Sissi Compton and Louis Blyth (both of them competing in their first World Cup events), Alec and Colin Dixon, and Tim Gough. Max Screawn, from Ireland, is linked to our training program and we consider him as one of us.

The event kicked off with a Sprint race. I finished 5th, Sissi finished in 18th, Louis in 25th, Alec in 23rd and Tim 22nd in place. Max skied well and placed 16th which is a career best.

The following day, another Sprint race, was slightly more complicated with poor weather conditions. We only managed to race the first run, carrying over the second run to the third day. That meant finishing the Sprint race before commencing the Classic later that day. I suppose no one said it would be easy…

I finished 8th in the Sprint, after collecting too many penalties, Sissi was 18th, unfortunately Louis was disqualified for missing a gate, Colin was 25th, Alec was 24th, Tim was 19th (another career best) and Max finished 21st.

The Classic was more positive; I finished 4th, Sissi in 20th, Colin 23rd, Alec in 22nd, Tim in 20th, and Max in 17th place. The World Cup Classic is quite a shock to the system, it takes many years to learn pace and to get the balance between going for it and not burning out too soon.

The final event, another Classic; I finished 6th, again too many penalties from me, Sissi unfortunately did not finish (DNF), Louis in 25th, Colin in 29th, Alec in 27th, Tim in 24th and Max in 23rd place.

Just a special thanks to our coach; Sebastien Mansart, who played a massive role in putting on these replacement races in such a short space of time. He is either a genius or mad… or maybe both!

It is not quite the set of results I wished for but it is a pleasure to be on the slopes, with my team-mates and competitors, competing none-the-less. Thank you to everyone for the continued support and for making it possible.

Now time to work in the ESF for a few weeks, before more training and an action packed March with World Cup Finals, World Junior Championships and the World Championships, all of which are in Switzerland.

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