Tagged ‘Melchsee-Frutt’

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!

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.

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