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Taylor takes first career Telemark Globe Win

Mar 27, 2024·Telemark
Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) and Laly Chaucheprat (FRA)
Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) and Laly Chaucheprat (FRA)

We couldn't have hoped for a better final chapter of the 2023/24 Telemark World Cup and Junior World Championships. There is no Globe or gold medal without athletes who dream of it, nor without dedicated organisers and volunteers who believe in the magic of telemark. Pra-Loup (FRA) took the gamble of organising these finals just two weeks after Slovenia cancelled, and the gamble paid off. Tears of joy, smiles, and suspense right up to the end – the athletes and Pra-Loup brought together all the ingredients to make these finals an unforgettable success. For the very first time, the elusive Globe dream came true for Jasmin Taylor (GBR) (Overall and Sprint Globe), Kaja Bjoernstad Konow (NOR) (Classic Globe), Léa Lathion (SUI) (Parallel Sprint Globe), Elie Nabot (FRA) (Overall and Sprint Globe), and Noé Claye (FRA) (Classic and Parallel Globe), while France took the Nation Globe. It was a first-time for each of those athletes, whose victories in some disciplines were hanging by a thread after the World Cup in Livigno (ITA). Before reaching the dream, it was necessary to hold out and have a mind of steel to reach the grail in Pra-Loup. The same goes for the juniors, such as Alexis Page (FRA), who had the luxury of a quadruple gold rush for his last season as a Junior.

Winning the Overall Globe is a dream come true. I’ve always seen it as the ultimate goal, and to have finally achieved it still doesn’t feel real. I cannot thank everyone around me enough for all the support. It’s been a challenging season, and to end it like this is overwhelming. This globe feels extra special because the competition was so fierce this winter, with so many great athletes competing. Each race was a unique challenge, with many contenders for the victory.Jasmin Taylor (GBR), 2023/24 Telemark World Cup Overall Champion
Jasmin Taylor (GBR) with the English flag showing her two crystal globes
Jasmin Taylor (GBR)
It's something I've dreamt about since I started skiing, and it's become an obsession over the years. Victory is even more beautiful after two consecutive years when the globes passed me by…Elie Nabot (FRA), 2023/24 Telemark World Cup Overall Champion
Elie Nabot (FRA) with the French flag, showing his two crystal globes
Elie Nabot (FRA)

Classic World Cup Finals and Junior World Championships: French Wolf Pack Versus Vikings

Once again, the Classic didn't disappoint: stamina was essential, especially with the fatigue accumulated in Livigno the week before and because some athletes competed the same day in both the World Cup and Junior race. We witnessed a real podium hunt by specialists of the discipline: France vs. Norway. Two different but uncompromising styles making honor to the mother of all telemark skiing disciplines.

It was the first-ever World Cup win for Augustine Carliez (FRA) who was the fastest ahead of the Norwegian duo: Kaja Bjoernstad Konow (2nd) and Goril Strom Eriksen (3rd). On men's side, Trym Nygaard Loeken (NOR) continued to cement a tale from the North following his extraordinary return to competition in Livigno (ITA). He won with style ahead of French athletes Elie Nabot (2nd) and Charly Petex (3rd). For Bjoernstad Konow and Claye, the Classic Globe was already almost secured after Livigno. They officially clinched it after finishing 6th in the last Classic race, respectively followed in the Classic World Cup standings by Augustine Carliez (FRA) and Laly Chaucheprat (FRA, 3rd) for women, Elie Nabot (FRA, 2nd), and Charly Petex (FRA, 3rd) for men. The local Melvyn Rey ended at a solid 8th place.

It feels so crazy to have won the classic globe this season. The start of the season was not the best for me, but fortunately, I really improved. The competition was tough and really tight all the way, which I think made the finals really exciting. Anything could happen until the last race, and I am so happy and thankful that I was able to end up as the winner in the classic. It has always been a dream for me to win a globe someday, but I did not think I would be able to do it so soon. I still can’t believe it!Kaja Bjoernstad Konow (NOR)
Kaja Bjoernstad Konow (NOR) showing her crystal globe and medal
Kaja Bjoernstad Konow (NOR)

Alexis Page (FRA), who was competing in both the World Cup finals and the Junior World Championships, was brave enough to announce before Pra-Loup that he was going to attempt a grand slam in his last season as a junior. After finishing 4th at the Classic World Cup race, he won the Junior Classic World Championships race the same day, followed by the Swedish silver medalist Alvin Noaksson and Canadian bronze medalist Adrian Ball. On women's side, Augustine Carliez (FRA) won Gold followed by Maria Heggheim Berge (NOR) in Silver and joint Bronze medalists Lenaïg Mansart (FRA) and Emma Araldsen (NOR).

For both the World Cup and the Juniors World Championships, we witnessed a fierce Franco-Norwegian battle throughout the season.

Sprint World Cup Finals: The Beginning of Taylor and Nabot’s Coronations, Norway The Fastest

There's no mistaking the Norwegian team skiing fast, and Loeken’s brilliant comeback seems to have given the Vikings a boost. Norway was the strongest team on this day. Strom Eriksen and Loeken respectively won the last Sprint race of the season ahead of Taylor (GBR), 2nd, and Chaucheprat (FRA), 3rd, by the women, and ahead of Alexis Page (FRA), 2nd, and Noé Claye (FRA), 3rd, by the men. Even if the Sprint Globe was almost secured for Taylor and Nabot after Livigno, they had to hold on mentally to assume their leaderships for the overall Globe win races after races.

It was tough and above all mentally exhausting! I started the season completely backwards and I had to pick myself up from January onwards if I didn't want to see my chances of winning the globe slip away. The last few weeks of racing were difficult because I had to defend my position as leader in the standings and I had to find a balance between managing and taking as few risks as possible. It was the first season in which I found myself in this position and I realized how much tension it generated. I had to keep my cool right to the end, and I'm proud to have held my position!Elie Nabot (FRA)

Both leaders Taylor and Nabot won the Sprint Globe, respectively followed by Strom Eriksen (2nd) and Tan Bouquet (3rd) for women, Claye (2nd), and Page (3rd) for men. At the end of this race, of course, Taylor and Nabot were still the big favorites for the overall standings win. However, there was no comfort zone for the leaders as the gaps were tight for the top 3 before the parallel sprint. Big pressure for sure!

Sprint Junior World Championships: The Gold Rush goes on for Page

And that's two for Page, as the golden junior continued to build momentum ahead of compatriot silver medalist Zian Peccoux and Swiss bronze medalist Timo Walser. For women, it was Léa Lathion (SUI), admittedly one of the favorites, who created the surprise ahead of the freshly crowned Classic Junior World Champion Augustine Carliez (silver) and bronze medalists Lenaïg Mansart (FRA) and Emma Araldsen (NOR). The men top 10 included a nice performing patchwork of nations with Andorra, Austria, Canada, France, Italia, Norway and Sweden.

Parallel Sprint World Cup Finals: The Supreme Last Chapter with a Dreamy Apotheosis

We could write suspense novels or operas when it comes to Parallel races! The Parallel Sprint dividing winners and losers of a day, can be synonymous with precious points won or lost for the final standings. For women, transcended by the call of the supreme grail, Jasmin Taylor (GBR) won and scored her first Parallel Sprint victory of the season. Léa Lathion (SUI), second, signed her second Parallel Sprint podium of the season while Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) finished third. For men, Swiss Romain Beney also signed his second Parallel Sprint Podium of the season by finishing second. Beney's performance also served as the determinant between Claye winning the Parallel this day and Nabot finishing third.

The Swiss were really on the right track for this last race of the season. At the end, the women’s top 3 in the final Parallel Sprint standings are separated by a narrow margin in favor of Léa Lathion, who took the Globe with 245 points, in front of Goril Strom Eriksen (2nd, 241 points) and disappointed Argeline Tan Bouquet (3rd, 240 points). What a finish for the women's Globe… Junior Léa Lathion couldn't believe her eyes, and her emotion alone could sum up what this piece of crystal represents.

I have to admit that at the moment, the feeling is just crazy. I can't believe it, it was improbable and unexpected, especially winning the parallel globe. I feel like I'm living in a daydream. The junior championships were obviously the main objective of the season, and this is the icing on the cake. Honestly, I don't really know what more to say, because it's just crazy, I don't have the words, and it feels so unreal!Léa Lathion (SUI)
Léa Lathion (SUI) showing her crystal globe
Léa Lathion (SUI)

Claye also entered wonderland for the second time of his career by winning the men’s Parallel Globe followed by Elie Nabot, second, and Alexis Page, third.

And then came the long-awaited pinnacle for the supreme grail, the one that elects the most versatile and best-performing racer of the season. With a total of 11 podium finishes, including 5 first places, 3 second places, and 3 third places, Taylor (GBR) captured the Overall World Cup Globe in front of Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR) and Laly Chaucheprat (FRA). For men, with a total of 11 podiums, including 5 wins, 4 second places, and 2 third places, Nabot (FRA) won the Overall Globe ahead of Noé Claye (FRA) and junior gold digger Alexis Page (FRA). This podium already had a western feel to it, as the French team put on cowboy costumes to celebrate the end of the season and the Nations' Cup victory.

What can I say, what can I say... except that I'm really struggling to realize that I've won two globes so far. I think I need a bit more time to realize what I've done, but for now, it's still time to celebrate! It wouldn't have been possible without the French team, who helped me to improve every day! But I don't intend to be satisfied with just two globes, which is why I intend to come back even stronger next year to win more!Elie Nabot (FRA)

In the end, it may well be the Globe that chooses its suitors based on what they accomplished in the name of sport and human feelings. Indeed, the Globe is the image of the telemark community: human powered. The Globe is also an ode to the work carried out behind the scene by all the coaches, such as Sébastien Mansart, who for the first time led an athlete to the first Overall Globe of her career with Jasmin Taylor (FRA), or Julien Annequin, who led junior Léa Lathion (SUI) to her first Globe as the Swiss team's new coach.

Accompanying athletes to a globe is the Holy Grail of coaching. That's what we work for every season. Often it comes down to details, especially in the final races, where you have to be solid and stay focused on technique rather than results. I'm really pleased that Élie has managed to win his first Globes; he deserves them so much. The same goes for Noé, for whom this was the stated objective. Personally, these globes are the culmination of the energy and passion I put into my job every day so that the athletes perform as well as possible. I couldn't have wished for a better end to the season!Antoine Bouvier, French Team's coach
Noé Claye (FRA), Antoine Bouvier, French Team's coach and Elie Nabot (FRA) lifting five crystal globes
Noé Claye (FRA), Antoine Bouvier, French Team's coach and Elie Nabot (FRA)

Junior World Championships – Parallel Sprint and Team Event: Golden Mercenary Page achieved the Grand Slam, Pride in the Name of all Juniors

You may be listening to "The Ecstasy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone while reading! And finally, what better song to close the 2023-2024 chapter.

Go big or go home for the juniors, who put on a great show all day and had nothing to envy from their elders. Alexis Page (FRA) came for the grand slam, and did it! For his last season as a junior, he won gold in all the junior races: Classic, Sprint, Parallel Sprint, and team event with his French teammates Augustine and Zian Peccoux. He also trusted the podium of the last World Cup races, finishing third in the Overall World Cup standing. Timo Walser (SUI) took silver of the Parallel Sprint, and Alvin Noaksoon (SWE) bronze. By the women, Léa Lathion (SUI) took gold for the second time in a week, followed by silver medalist Augustine Carliez (FRA) and Norwegian bronze medalist Emma Araldsen. In human terms, gold is the culmination of a quest: it represents the complete realization of one's being who has finally understood who he or she is. And that’s surely the case for Page or Lathion. Junior World Championships are the perfect accelerator of maturity in terms of both skiing and emotions. All juniors were brilliant in Pra-Loup, deserving respect from World Cup athletes. All challenged each other with smiles and fair-play, pushing the junior leaders to their limits! It's certain that some of them will shake up the World Cup hierarchy in the next 2 to 4 years.

This last racing chapter of the season also marked Andreja Jovan's farewell after 20 years as the FIS Telemark World Cup Race Director. Two decades of watching over the races with firmness but fairness, all with a velvet touch. She may have seen many personalities behind the Globe quest. One thing is certain, an elusive piece of her is surely hidden and will remain in the crystal of the Globes conquered in Pra-Loup. Andreja, may your tracks be long outside the gates!

Andreja Jovan, FIS Telemark World Cup Race Director
Andreja Jovan, FIS Telemark World Cup Race Director

From the bottom of our hearts, we would also like to thank Pra-Loup and all the people who worked behind the scenes throughout this week. Telemark skiing is definitively a sport powered by human feelings. And Pra-Loup was the perfect proof! See you next season.