Tagged ‘Slovenia’

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.

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.

Victory in Slovenia

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Following the long trip back from America, the tour moved on to Oberjoch, Germany for more World Cup competitions. The first day kicked off with the Sprint where I finished in 3rd place achieving my 10th podium of the season.

The Ladies Sprint (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) Photos by lkjsdhflakshf

The Ladies Sprint (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GRB), photos by Bernhard Krempl

Louis Hatchwell is still struggling with reoccurring injuries and took the difficult decision to not race in Germany. Sion Bingham skied hard finishing in 26th and Ben Emsley in 31st place. Jack Harvard Taylor returned to his seat in the commentary box adding his expertise and enthusiasm.

Jasmin Taylor off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor in the Sprint, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor in the Sprint, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham off the jump in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham on course, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham on course, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley jumping, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley jumping, photo by Bernhard Krempl

The second day saw the Dual Sprint take place, starting a little lower on the Sprint hill. Sion qualified in 25th, meeting Thomas Rufer (SUI) in the knock outs. Ben was 30th in qualification and met Bastien Dayer (SUI) in his first World Cup Dual Sprint – both Sion and Ben finished in 17th place. I finished in 4th place after racing Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) in the semi and small finals. Johanna Holzmann (GER) took the victory and our races then made it to national news coverage on German television.

The spectators in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

The spectators in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Singing with the French National Team, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Singing with the French National Team, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Meanwhile, some FIS races took place in Lelex Mont Jura, France where many of my British team-mates were competing. Congratulations to Alec Dixon who won Saturday’s competition overall. The 2nd Brit was Colin Dixon finishing in 8th with new comers – Jack Emsley in 19th and Ben Silva in 21st also progressing fast. Ben Silva also finished 3rd in his age category – another great achievement. Sissi Compton finished 7th overall, 2nd in her age category and Naila Cardwell unfortunately did not finish (DNF).

Ben Silva on the podium in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Ben Silva on the podium in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Victory for Alec Dixon at the FIS race in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Victory for Alec Dixon at the FIS race in Lelex Mont Jura, France

The second day of competition in Lelex saw Alec finishing in 3rd overall, Colin in 10th, Jack in 16th and Ben in 17th (3rd in his age category once more). Sissi was 6th overall, 2nd in her age and Naila 13th overall, 4th in her age category.

Colin Dixon on course in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Colin Dixon on course in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Louis decided to return home to the UK to fully rehab his ankle but before leaving, we all celebrated Louis’s birthday in Germany. Sion also returned home due to university commitments.

Louis Hatchwell on his birthday in Oberjoch, Germany

Louis Hatchwell on his birthday in Oberjoch, Germany

A celebratory dinner for Louis

A celebratory dinner for Louis

After Germany, we travelled on to Slovenia for the final two days of racing. Unfortunately, the first race was cancelled due to heavy snow fall.

The Sprint race was cancelled following a heavy snowfall in Krvavec, Slovenia

The Sprint race was cancelled following a heavy snowfall in Krvavec, Slovenia

The final day was a Dual Sprint on the pistes of Krvavec. I qualified in 3rd place meeting Magdalena Kopecka (CZE), then Martina Wyss (SUI), then Johanna Holzmann (GER) and finally Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) in the final. I won all rounds and took my first victory in the Dual Sprint. Ben Emsley had the pleasure of racing Bastien Dayer (SUI) once more and finished in 17th place.

There was 35 minute programme, produced by TeleHo, on a Slovenian national television channel. The episode followed the official Olympic Opening Ceremony where 32% of the Slovenian population were watching – a huge percentage and phenomenal step for telemark. You can watch my edit HERE. I am now looking forward to watching the Olympic Games, good luck to everyone competing.

The winning moment! Photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

The winning moment! Photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

Just through the finish line with Johanna Holzmann (GER), photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

Just through the finish line with Johanna Holzmann (GER), photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

The Parallel Sprint podium in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The Parallel Sprint podium in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER)

Since the beginning of the season I have had 3 victories, 1 in each discipline; the Classic, Sprint and Dual Sprint. I have finished on the podium 11 times in 14 races across 5 different countries. It’s been a blast! The last two rounds of racing will take place in March, hosted in Norway and Switzerland. That means we have time for some much needed rest and then more training.

You can catch up on all the racing via the live-stream link HERE. Thank you as always to everyone making it happen!

Slovenian & German World Cups

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We arrived in Krvavec, Slovenia ready for the racing to begin with a Parallel Sprint. I qualified in 3rd position, paired against my most regular Norwegian opponent, Mathilde Ilebrekke, in the first round. I won the dual and moved forward to meet Switzerland’s Amelie Reymond but lost out which meant meeting Argeline Tan Bouquet from France in the small final. I won and am proud to say I achieved a 3rd place podium position. My team-mate and only other Briton competing, Louis Hatchwell, finished in 9th place after racing Gaetan Procureur and Nicolas Michel, both competitors from Switzerland. The race was streamed live on the Olympic Channel Facebook page and had over 2.1 million views with more than 350,000 people following the entire race.

Parallel Sprint (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Parallel Sprint (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

The Parallel Sprint race piste

The Parallel Sprint race piste

The following day was a Team Parallel Sprint in which each nation must put forward a team of three racers including at least one girl and one boy. As Louis and I were the only competitors from Great Britain racing in Slovenia we faced a tough task of winning both our runs to move forward. Unfortunately, the strong Slovenian team took the win.

Kruvavec, Slovenia

The beautiful views in Krvavec, Slovenia

Kruvavec, Slovenia

Krvavec, Slovenia

The third and final day of racing in Slovenia was a Sprint and I finished in 3rd place and on the podium once more. It felt great to have skied well with two penalty free runs, and to finish the racing on a high. Louis also had a great day scoring a personal best result, finishing in 16th place.

Congratulations between NOR and GBR

Congratulations between NOR and GBR

Sprint (L to R) Mathilde Illebrekke (NOR), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Sprint (L to R) Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

We had a few days between the races in Slovenia before moving on to Germany, so we took the opportunity to visit the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, which was beautiful.

Tourists for the day in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tourists for the day in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The races in Germany were initially set as a Sprint on the first day and a Parallel Sprint on the second, but the snow conditions were unfortunately lacking and so the organisers took the decision to run two days of Parallel Sprint races. The Parallel Sprint ranking is usually decided with a qualification run and this determines which opponent you will meet in the head to head knock outs. On Saturday, I qualified in 4th place and met Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) losing out; Argeline went on to finish in 3rd place. Louis finished in 17th place after racing Elie Nabot (FRA) and Colin Dixon (GBR) qualified for the first time in a World Cup Parallel Sprint meeting eventual winner, Tobias Mueller (GER) gaining great experience to take forward.

Jasmin Taylor in Oberjoch, Germany

Jasmin Taylor in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to Telemark Weltcup Oberjoch)

The final day Germany started well with a good qualification run putting me in 2nd place. I met Guro Helde Kjoelseth (NOR) in the first round and after a very close race, Guro took the win and went on to finish in 2nd position. Louis had a tricky qualification run and met Sweden’s Olle Collberg, despite skiing very well, Louis narrowly missed out after making mistakes in the skating section.

The race piste in Oberjoch, Germany

The race piste in Oberjoch, Germany

GB Telemark on the chair lift in Oberjoch, Germany

On the chair lift in Oberjoch, Germany

All in all, a great round of racing – many positive points to take forward and work on in training ready for the next World Cup tournament in Norway.

German & Slovenian World Cups

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For the past week we, the British Team (myself, Louis Hatchwell, Alistair Cruz and Robert Houstoun along with coach, Sebastien Mansart) have been to the World Cup competitions in Oberjoch, Germany and Golte, Slovenia. In Germany, the conditions were brilliant; we had perfect sunshine and hard snow and the races were broadcast on German television with an estimated viewing of 3 to 4 million.

Course inspection in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

Course inspection in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

Racing in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to 'Telemark Race')

Racing in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to ‘Telemark Race’)

The first day of racing was a Sprint and I unfortunately made a fault in the giant slalom after the jump which meant I had to hike back up the hill. I was determined to finish the first run as I wanted to ski again and in the second run I recorded the 3rd fastest time which gave me confidence. The following day, a Dual Sprint, I finished in 4th place. After a tough qualification, I was paired with Simone Oehrli (SUI), followed by Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) and won both rounds taking me through to the finals/small finals play off’s where I met Johanna Holzmann (GER). Johanna won meaning I was paired with Guro Kjolseth (NOR) to fight for 3rd and 4th position – it was a close race, but I made an error in the skating where I was disqualified and Guro took the win. The British boys also performed well; Louis Hatchwell was paired with Adne Kristenstuen (NOR) and skied fast but just lost out coming into the loom finishing in 17th place. Alistair Cruz won his first run against Thomas Rufer (SUI) but then had the misfortune of meeting Tobi Muller (GER).

(L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Guro Kjolseth (NOR), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

(L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Guro Kjolseth (NOR), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Enjoying the post race atmosphere (Tara Parks, Robert Housoun, Jasmin Taylor) (Photo credits and thanks to Tara Parks)

Enjoying the post-race atmosphere: Tara Parks, Robert Housoun, Jasmin Taylor (Photo credits and thanks to Tara Parks)

After Germany the tour moved to Golte, Slovenia and racing commenced once more with a Sprint event. I finished in 6th after collecting too many costly penalties in the second run. Again, there are many positives to be taken such as finishing in 5th on my first run and recording the 3rd fastest time on the second run (before the penalties were added).

On the chairlift with my coach Sebastien Mansart having a pre-race chat (Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

On the chairlift with coach, Sebastien Mansart, having a pre-race chat (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

(Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

Racing in Golte, Slovenia (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

(Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

Pushing to the finish line in Golte, Slovenia (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

Unfortunately, the final race in Slovenia was cancelled due to bad weather. After an 8 hour drive we are safely back in Les Houches, France before setting off for the penultimate round of World Cup racing next Tuesday in Rjukan, Norway.

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