Tagged ‘Switzerland’

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!

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.

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!

The Final World Cups

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Following the races in Germany and Slovenia, the tour moved to Rjukan, Norway. The racing began with 2 days of Sprint races, followed by a team Dual Sprint and an individual Dual Sprint. The weather was superb throughout and the views were spectacular as always.

Rjukan, Norway

Rjukan, Norway

On the first day of racing I finished in 6th place. The second day of racing was very interesting for me – after a tricky first run (9th position) and a good second run (2nd position) I jumped up of 5 positions to get a 4th place. That evening we raced the Team Dual Sprint event under the floodlights looking out across at the Norwegian sunset. In the first round, the British Team (myself, Louis Hatchwell and Alistair Cruz) raced a strong Team Germany. Unfortunately, we didn’t go through to the next round but we certainly put up a good fight with a particularly close match from Louis Hatchwell and one very explosive crash from Alistair Cruz!

Jonas Schmid (GER) vs Louis Hatchwell (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Motten V Eriksen)

Jonas Schmid (GER) vs Louis Hatchwell (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

Alistair Cruz (GBR) vs ‎Thomas Orlovius (GER)‬(Photo credits and thanks to Motten V Eriksen)

Alistair Cruz (GBR) vs ‎Thomas Orlovius (GER)‬ (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

The final day in Rjukan ended with (the ‘normal’ individual) Dual Sprint. After a poor qualification run littered with jump penalties (a short course that cannot afford any penalties), I qualified 13th meeting training buddy and fellow competitor Argeline Tan-Bouquet (FRA). I skied fast but Argeline pipped me to the loom and with one less penalty than me, she was too difficult to catch. This resulted in a 9th place finish for me.

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The Sprint in Rjukan, Norw ay (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

After Norway, I returned to Les Houches to empty my suitcase for a final re-packing. At this point I realised that the process of emptying my bag and refilling it hadn’t stopped since before heading to Murren, Switzerland for the first time in early January for the British Championships. I was now returning to Murren for the second time this winter for the World Cup Finals feeling tired but ready to give my best for 3 more days.

The racing kicked off with the Classic, a discipline I don’t consider my strongest yet my World Cup ranking was the best it had ever been. I was lying in 5th place following a 5th place finish in France and a 4th in Spain earlier in the season. The course was set by my coach Sebastien Mansart, it was dynamic with a very intimidating skate at the end. I finished in 7th, stung by penalties but a position good enough to hang onto my new personal best world ranking.

And then comes the Sprint, the best day of my season and probably the best race of my career to date. The run was not perfect (there’s no such thing in fact) and it wasn’t anything way beyond the norm. Everything came together; the speed, just 1 penalty, a clean jump, a strong skate and clear mind – it was good enough for 3rd place after the first run. Knowing my second run is usually always better, I kept it simple and did my best once more and this time it was good enough to finish in 2nd place. That feeling was immense, I felt proud, satisfied, happy and relieved.

(L to R) Jasmin Taylor #2 (GBR), Amelie Reymond #1 (SUI), Beatrice Zimmerman #3 (SUI)

(L to R) Jasmin Taylor #2 (GBR), Amelie Reymond #1 (SUI), Beatrice Zimmerman #3 (SUI)

The very final day of racing; the Dual Sprint. I qualified against Theresa Fichtl (GER) and won, then met the eventual winner, Beatrice Zimmerman (SUI) and lost out finishing in 5th place.

My goal for the season was to be more consistent and I finished between 4th and 6th position 11 times, with 1 World Cup podium. My overall World Cup ranking is 5th place and that has been a goal since the beginning of my telemark career and finally achieving it feels awesome.

(L to R) MC (Kandahar member and team fan),

(L to R) M.C. (Kandahar member and team fan), James French, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Alistair Cruz

Murren, Switzerland

Murren, Switzerland

It’s been a fantastic season and I would like to thank everyone that makes it possible: my sponsors, coaches, supporters, parents, family, friends, boyfriend, university, telemark World Cup organisers and committee, GB team-mates and fellow athletes.

World Cup Round-up 2014/15

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Following the World Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (USA), the World Cup race circuit travelled to Thyon and then Murren in Switzerland before concluding in Rjukan, Norway where I finished 7th in the Classic, 6th in the Sprint and 5th in the Dual Sprint. In Thyon, I achieved another 5th place in the Sprint race.

It was great to be joined by team mates Jasper Taylor, James French and Fred Thomas. Ex-telemark team athlete Jack Harvard Taylor supported and provided commentary on the live streaming.

(L to R) Seb Mansart, Jasper Taylor, Jasmin Taylor, James French, Fred Thomas, Jack Harvard Taylor

(L to R) Seb Mansart, Jasper Taylor, Jasmin Taylor, James French, Fred Thomas, Jack Harvard Taylor

The Murren World Cup event was a fantastic experience. I was joined by sponsors, good friends and the fellow Kandahar Club members who were all out in force cheering me on. The famous James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed in Murren and the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant overlooking the Swiss Alps was a spectacular venue for the post-race banquet.

The "James Bond" revolving restaurant over looking the three famous peaks. Once translated into English, they are called (L to R) "the ogear", "the monk" and "the virgin".

The “James Bond” revolving restaurant over looking the three famous peaks. Once translated into English, they are called (L to R) “the Ogre”, “the Monk” and “the Virgin”.

The Jump in Murren

The Jump in Murren

The tour then travelled to Rjukan, Norway in the region of telemark for the final round of racing – this is where the sport originated.

Sprint Race in Rjukan, Norway

Sprint Race in Rjukan, Norway

Jasmin Taylor (GBR) Vs Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

Jasmin Taylor (GBR) Vs Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The Jump in Rjukan

The Jump in Rjukan

The highlight of the 2014/15 season was undoubtedly the bronze medal at the World Championships and with a full World Cup tour completed I’m looking forward to taking everything I’ve learned and building on this success for my 2015/16 World Cup campaign. Thank you to – my sponsorssupportersteam, family, friends and everyone that makes it possible.

The World Cup season is complete!

The World Cup season is complete!

If you missed any of the racing and want to catch up, follow this link.

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