What’s your usual diet like while training during the off-season?
”My diet is always pretty similar whether in season or out of season. At my grand old age of 34, I can very quickly turn crisps or chocolate into fat these days so I have to be extra careful with my dedication to the diet. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the odd cake from The Boskins Cafe as a nice treat, but I generally eat a balanced diet and cut out the junk where possible. I don’t get too caught up in calorie counting, I just eat everything in moderation to my training.”
What’s your favourite quick and easy healthy meal/snack?
”I am a huge fan of efficiency in the kitchen. Healthy meal: my go-to lunch is either couscous or a packet of rice/quinoa, lentils, mackerel and fresh veg, normally made well under 5 minutes flat! A healthy snack, glass of milk with a pear and a handful of nuts.”
What’s your typical workout routine in the off-season?
“All sorts, but now Parkrun is back on a Saturday morning, I really enjoy my weekly World Champs running event to finish off the week! I also love when the whole team joins up on ‘Zwift’ (online cycling platform) and smash out a 20-30 minute race together with the coaches…and yes the coaches win more often than the athletes. It’s good for their ego!”
What’s your favourite exercise and why?
”Either the back squat or the clean… there’s no hiding here! But my favourite varies monthly.”
Any tips for someone wanting to get active this autumn?
”Join a club, everything is easier with other people and I get so much more out of myself too. I rarely train alone on the bike, or if you’re in the area why not come and join me on a 5k parkrun on a Saturday morning?! My local is Southport Hesketh Park, so if I am back in the country come and bring it on! I love a challenge 😉”
An expert in the art of ski service, Alpine ski technician Federico Detragiache excels in tuning, waxing, and adapting to different conditions. Read on to learn more about how Federico’s work can make or break a podium finish.
How and why did you get into ski service?
“I had been coaching for around 10 years with local clubs and academies around the world. The opportunity to take up a position as a serviceman in the Italian Team came along and I was eager to learn a lot more about the tuning side of skis. I ended up liking it loads more than coaching and so spent as much energy as possible to learn as much as possible, and here we are.”
What are the main duties of a ski technician?
“Firstly, I need to take care of and prepare all the skis ready for training and racing, no matter the condition of the piste. I also need to work with the athlete and understand what type of tuning works best with their technique and goals.”
What is the full process of ski service and how long does it take to get athletes ready? Does tuning need to be tailored to each athlete?
“Our team specialises in slalom, so the main focus is on the edges. We spend a lot of time over the summer and often into the winter too, trying out different machines, stones, grinds to understand what the athlete wants/needs from the edges in every single condition – and what feels good for them on all pistes. We need to keep a good record of all the snow conditions that we skied on, and the edges that we used, so that we can replicate and be as ready as possible for snow conditions on race day. With regards to waxing, the main goal for slalom is to keep the base as clean as possible and protected from snow burn. I used to work in speed e.g., downhill where wax and base condition was far more important.”
What kind of knowledge do you need to do the job well?
“You need to know how an edge/sharpening an edge works as well as what the needs of a skier are. Essentially, the main knowledge I need is to be able to watch my athlete skiing and understand the changes that I can make to the equipment to make them faster.”
How do you adapt to different snow and weather conditions around the world?
“1. We have repertoire of different stones to use for the edges which may make them more / less aggressive on different snow types.
“2. We have different ski models that we can use for different hill terrain.
“3. Different waxes for differing temperatures and humidity.
“4. Unfortunately we can’t do anything about wind!”
How much does ski tuning impact athlete performance? Can it make or break a podium finish?
“Wax wise, in speed, it can be a big deal, especially if you mess up with temperature and humidity. E.g., I’d I wax for hot temperature and high humidity, but we turn up at the race and it’s cold, that will slow skis and can impact a podium finish.
“Tuning wise, for slalom, the edges are the most important and if an athlete has a good feeling on the skis, they are always going to be able to push more, have more confidence and ski faster. Most commonly, having too sharp skis on aggressive snow can easily cause straddles for example and not enough edge on ice will affect stability and ability of the athlete to create good turns.”
How and why did you get into coaching?
“Since I was a child, it has always been my dream to become one of the greatest skiers in the world. My whole life has been focused on skiing, so to speak, and I always told myself, If I don’t make the leap to the top of the world, I still want to be connected to snowsports. Unfortunately, I did have to call time on my skiing career due to a few injuries.
“Immediately afterwards I started my training in the ski instructor area and also in the coaching area, then I trained our home ski club for 2 years. Shortly afterwards, Mario Rafetzeder (GB Snowsport Alpine coach) called me to see if I was interested in training the GB Snowsport group together with him.”
What are your main responsibilities as a coach?
“Organising camps or training days as well as the slope preparation on the day before training. We have to set the courses in the morning on the snow, make sure that possible dangers are limited and that the course is always kept up-to-date in case a pole breaks out or something else. There’s also the nitty-gritty logistics, like booking hotels where we stay, and last but not least, building a good relationship with the athletes.
“But the main task of coaching is analysing, finding mistakes, correcting them, and make those corrections as quickly as possible, either through targeted slow driving, or through small tips that an athlete at this level can easily implement in the course. To find these small or big mistakes – the things that can make a real difference in an athlete’s development – we use a camera where we can play the videos in slow motion. All that video material is then discussed together with the athletes as part of their development.”
How important is the mental/psychological side of coaching in a modern athlete’s development?
“We know now that it’s one of the most important points for athletes who really want to become the very best. At the top the air gets scarcer and the athletes get better and better; it’s in those moments that being mentally strong is very helpful.
“In my opinion you can be the best skier but if your head doesn’t play along, your talent is unfortunately lost.”
How is the new generation of athletes’ expectations of coaching different from what was expected 10 years ago?
“I think that the coaches were very dominant in the past. What a coach said is correct; there was no other option.
“Nowadays it’s a more collegiate process. The athlete is more involved, there is a better relationship, and points are discussed before decisions are made.”
Is analysing competition/training footage useful for athlete improvement and development? If so, has tech like mobile phones and drones made this easier?
“Yes, that’s one of our main tasks and cameras, drones help us to find even the smallest errors that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
“A coach without a camera is like a jockey without a horse!”
What was the biggest challenge coaching athletes during the most restricted moments last year? How did you manage to maintain a coaching approach with athletes during lockdown?
“To be honest the last year hasn’t been easy for anyone. Not for the associations, not for the organisers, not for the coaches and also not for the athletes.
“The biggest challenge was to make a plan. You could hardly plan two days in advance, because nobody knew exactly whether the races would take place or not; each race felt like it was postponed 5 times! You always felt there was a risk that coronavirus regulations would change what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do.
“The good thing was that our ski area where we always train, Reiteralm Bergbahnen, was open to professional sports. Because of that, we were always able to keep a high standard of training up.
“That was our advantage: we only have a 5-minute drive to our “office”, to that mountain. And that’s what meant we were able to maintain the coaching approach with athletes during the lockdown.”
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British student athletes are being encouraged to put themselves forward for selection for the 30th edition of the rescheduled winter fisu world university games in lucerne, switzerland this december
The Games, which is the largest global winter multi-sport event for student athletes, will see more than 2,500 athletes representing over 50 countries compete across 11 days from 11-21 December 2021 with the British team overseen by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). With an expected global audience of more than 300m viewers in over 100 countries, the World University Games have long played an important role in supporting up-and-coming athletes with high-level competition experience at a formative point in their careers.
Eligible British snowsport athletes interested in competing are now being asked to put themselves forward for selection across the following disciplines:
- Snowboarding (Slopestyle, Big Air, Parallel Grand Slalom, Parallel Slalom)
- Freestyle Skiing (Slopestyle, Big Air)
The following eligibility criteria apply for athletes seeking selection:
- Students who are currently officially registered as proceeding towards a degree or diploma at a university or similar institute, the states of which is recognised by the appropriate national academic authority of their country (athletes beginning their academic courses in September 2021 are eligible, so long as they meet the relevant age criteria), or former students of those institutions who have obtained their academic degree of diploma in the calendar year preceding the event
- Be at least 18 and no older than 25 years of age on 31 December 2021 (dates of birth between 01 January 1996 and 31 December 2003).
Applying athletes should note that the British team is run by BUCS and competition will cost athletes in the region of £1500, including coaching costs. Many individual University Sports Unions have traditionally offered grants to contribute to these costs, and we would encourage all interested athletes to communicate with their respective institutions to understand if this is the case prior to beginning the expression of interest process. The Games will take place between 11 and 21 December 2021.
Once athletes are selected, BUCS and GB Snowsport will work with the athlete to identify coaches of the appropriate standard to support their efforts at the event.
GB Snowsport Performance Criteria for selection to the World University Games can be found in the GB Snowsport Selection Policy.
Athletes who meet the above criteria are invited to express their interest to Mark Ritchie, GB Snowsport Head of Talent, by 12:00 on 23 July: email@example.com.
Athletes should state their University or Institution, Course and Year, Date of Birth, Event Disciplines and Coach Name and Contact Details in the first instance.
GB Snowsport is pleased to announce that Alain Baxter has joined as a High Performance Coach for the Men’s Alpine World Cup Squad.
Alain Baxter, GB Snowsport High Performance Coach, Men’s Alpine World Cup Squad said:
“It is an honour to be back with the GB Snowsport team. I’m really looking forward to joining a team that trains hard and the athletes show nothing but pure determination and a great team spirit. It’s going to be great working with Dave [Ryding], especially as we trained together all those years back, and now he’s one of the best in the world! The potential we have with Laurie [Taylor] and Billy [Major] is really exciting as well. It shows the ability and the strength that we have in our squad and I look forward to working hard with them to achieve their goals.”
Paul Trayner, GB Snowsport, Director of Alpine said:
“We are delighted to welcome Alain into our World Cup coaching team and excited to see how this team develops together. Alain brings a wealth of knowledge and his appointment demonstrates GB Snowsport’s commitment to pair our best athletes with the best coaches to help generate truly World Class training environments.”
- GB Snowsport names 2021/22 Alpine squad, looking to build on exceptional results from covid-hit 2020/21 season
- Six-strong World Cup squad heads British Alpine hopes, with seven new athletes named in FIS squad
- Eight named in Europa Cup squad including Max Vaughton, promoted from FIS squad
GB Snowsport has confirmed the 50-person squad that will represent Britain on the international race circuit for the 2021/22 season. The squad will be looking to build on last season’s excellent results, which saw the nation return a number of outstanding finishes including victories and podium positions in World Cup and Europa Cup races.
Amid a challenging year for the global snowsports circuit, GB’s Alpine programme returned some outstanding results including a third career World Cup podium for 34-year-old Dave Ryding at Adelboden in January. Charlie Guest returned a series of career-best results including a Gold in the Europa Cup Finals in Reiteralm, meaning she has now won more Europa Cup races than any other British Alpine athlete, and Billy Major was crowned Europa Cup Champion in a season which saw him moved up to the World Cup squad. Laurie Taylor, meanwhile, secured his first ever Europa Cup podium position with victory in the Slalom at Val Cenis, and Alex Tilley achieved a 17th-place finish at the Cortina World Championships, her best-ever Giant Slalom result at a World Championships.
The squad also features seven new athletes named in the FIS squad for the first time, while 22-year-old Max Vaughton is promoted to the Europa Cup squad after a promising 2020/21 season which included an excellent first-place finish in the Men’s Alpine combined at the Santa Caterina FIS races in February.
Paul Trayner, GB Snowsport Alpine Director, said:
This is a pivotal season for Britain’s Alpine athletes, and I’m delighted that we’re in a position to name such a strong squad to represent the nation. Last year was an incredibly challenging year for everybody in our sport, but in the face of difficult circumstances British Alpine athletes showed the world that they are capable of making their mark on the biggest stages. Congratulations to all our athletes on their selection, and particularly so to the seven young skiers who feature for the first time.
World Cup athlete Dave Ryding said:
It is an honour to be selected to represent Great Britain again on the global stage, and I think the whole squad has reason to feel optimistic about the year ahead. I was really proud of my performances last season, and the podium finish at Abelboden is something I want to build on in the build-up to Beijing.
Fellow World Cup squad member, Charlie Guest, said:
Despite all the challenges we faced in the last 12 months, last season was an amazing year for British Alpine skiers, and I’m really happy to have played a part in that. This is a huge year for everyone in the GB squad. Knowing how hard everyone’s training and the support that’s going into Alpine right now, I’m sure we’re going to see more brilliant results for GB over the next 12 months.
World Cup squad
Female: Charlie Guest, Alex Tilley
Male: Billy Major, Charlie Raposo, Dave Ryding, Laurie Taylor
europa cup squad
Female: Reece Bell
Male: Jack Gower, Leo Karavasili, Rob Poth, Roy Steudle, Max Vaughton*, Owen Vinter, Zak Vinter
Female: Emelia Ackerley, Jess Anderson, Abi Bruce, Daisi Daniels, Alexa Elliff, Sophie Foster, Giselle Gorringe†, Lois Jackson, Darcie Mead, Victoria Palla, Isla Ward, Sarah Woodward, Julia Wordley,
Male: Diaco Abrishami, Seb Avent, Will Beney, Tom Butterworth, Toby Case, Jack Cunningham, Jake Doyle, Lucas Ellis**, Ed Guigonnet, Rob Holmes, Georgie Honeybone†, Tom Hudson, Calum Langmuir, Max Laughland**, Christian McCourtie**, Kaylan Huisman Muro, Thomas Rampton, Dominic Shackleton**, Ted Slade, Jack Upton**, Aidan Urquhart**, Arie Van Vuuren, Oli Weeks.
* Promoted from 2020/21 FIS Squad
** New Entrant (2004 YOB)
† New Entrant (2003 YOB)
The 2021/22 Alpine World Cup Season is scheduled to begin on 23rd October with the Giant Slalom World Cup Opener in Sölden, AUT with the squad looking to build on last season’s excellent results in the coming Olympic Winter Games season.
Update: 11:24 30 Apr 2021 An earlier version of this release mistakenly omitted Max Laughland from the FIS Squad. This has now been updated to reflect Max’s selection.
Update: 12:31 30 Apr 2021 Jess Anderson has been added to the FIS Squad following the completion of a review process undertaken by the Alpine Selection Panel
The GB U21 Alpine skiers are back from the FIS World Junior Championships Bansko 2021 in Bulgaria with some encouraging results. The men’s team comprised Ed Guigonnet, Owen Vinter and Toby Case and the women’s team was Abi Bruce, Liv Foster and Daisi Daniels.
The race piste was the Giant Slalom course that was used in the Men’s World Cup the previous weekend, which made it a challenging one – steep, difficult and icy. Despite this the GB athletes put in some strong performances and achieved some very promising results.
Super G: Ed 13th, Owen 19th
Giant Slalom: Ed 27th (from bib 52)
Slalom : Owen 24th (from bib 45)
Giant Slalom : Abi 21st (from bib 46), Daisi 26th (from bib 47), Liv 32nd (from bib 44)
Ed’s 13th in the Super G is the best male result since Charlie Raposo in Are, Sweden in 2017 and best GB speed result this century! Abi’s 21st in the Giant Slalom is the best woman’s GS result since Chemmy Alcott in Tarvisio, Italy in 2002. Daisy Daniels also put in a strong performance particularly in the GS coming in 26th, the last time Great Britain had two women in the Top 30 of any Alpine discipline was Amanda Pirie and Chemmy Alcott in Quebec, Canada in 2000.
Congratulations to all the athletes who took part in the FIS World Junior Championships 2021. It was great experience for all the GB participants with promise of exciting things to come.
My best party trick is… “A sensational Moscow mule and being able to talk till the sun comes up.”
The geekiest thing about me is… “My blue light glasses and my love of a well organised spreadsheet.”
Tell me you’re a snowsports athlete without telling me you’re a snowsports athlete… “I ski a lot…”
A shower thought I had recently… “Compartmentalising all my shower thoughts would take me days. Some of my best ideas come in the shower. I’ve legitimately jumped out of the shower to write notes and then get back in before.”
Best dance move… “They’re all dad moves…”
When I’m not training or on snow you’ll find me… “Certainly with friends, whether it’s enjoying the outdoors or being in a restaurant / bar is another question.”
Guilty pleasure… “Donuts or a great evening with friends.”
Best travel story… “I’ll write my memoirs one day because there are too many to list off.”
Biggest fail… “The significant amount of times I’ve front flipped out of a parallel start gate.”
Typical Sunday… “Wholesome. Good food. Great company. Chilled vibes.”
Weirdest gift I’ve given or received… “I wouldn’t call it weird, but I’m now at the age where I got given two candles for my birthday and I was low key pretty excited about it.”
Two truths and a lie… “I’ve got OCD, I’m a lightweight, I love tequila.”
I won’t shut up about… “Anything and everything.”
The pandemic has taught me… “Who are the people I really want to spend my time and what really brings me happiness in life.”
GB Snowsport today announce that the British Senior Alpine Championships 2021, which were due to be held in Tignes, France between March 28th – April 4th, 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
We have been continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and due to the British Government’s guidelines around international travel, we have reached this decision with our partners Tignes.
We are looking forward to coming back bigger and better in 2022, with the Senior Championships taking place between 27th March and 3rd April 2022 and the Children’s Championships from 4th April to 8th April.
Paul Trayner, GB Snowsport Alpine Director:
“It is with great regret that we have to make this announcement. The GB Champs is a real highlight of the season and a key milestone event for so many of our athletes. The GB Snowsport alpine squad have achieved some fantastic results so far this season, and I know they were looking forward to competing in Tignes. To be starved of it for 2 consecutive seasons is a real shame but we will return to Tignes in 2022 and endeavour to make it the biggest and best GB Champs yet. This year has been a real challenge for us all and I hope that we can get back to the sport that we love very soon”.
Frédéric Porte, Director General of Tignes Development:
“Hosting the GB Snowsport British Alpine Championships in Tignes has become a tradition over the years. The bond that we have with GB Snowsport has historically been very strong and seeing the 2021 edition of the Championships also being cancelled (after the first cancellation in 2020) due to the global COVID pandemic is a great disappointment for all. We will make sure though that together with GB Snowsport we will prepare the best ever 2022 edition. In the meantime; stay safe!”