Here, there and everywhere.

Welsh Champs / Megeve Round-Up.

29 January 2012 AT 15:38:49

Better late than never, the 27th Jan was a busy day.... i started off in Champery, drove to Megeve, then from Megeve to Geneva and finally from Genvea back to Flaine. Making best use of the vignette and the parking in Geneva where myself, Benn and Justin unloaded and re-loaded (so far so good, i was sure we would miss something but the only thing that has gone missing so far has been my skis which were stolen in Les Crosets).

The 2nd day at the Welsh was another success for Ambition, we had Will Wheeler take the overall win for the 2nd day in a row, while Ella and Olivia Ward held form taking 1st and 2nd again for children 1. Izzy Taylor also graced the podium for the first time this year to take 3rd in CH2 girl - i think she was getting tired of seeing her sister's name up on this blog and thought it was time a different 'Taylor' was up!

In Megeve meanwhile, we were having a mixed morning, Imi and Thomasine went hard at the GS which was great to see but some huge errors in line saw them both on the DNF list. The boys meanwhile picked up their game from the day before with Tom placing 8th after the first run and Luke Riddell skiing from 51st into 24th on the first run. Kieran had a reasonable run but was lacking the aggression that we see from him in training and Peter was a little straight over the same rise that caught the girls out.

The 2nd run was pretty exciting as Luke finished with a solid run, nothing special but good enough to land him a 90 point result - his best to date. Tom also had a result, making a tenth up on the leader from the first run to score a 63.

So, it is all starting to come together again at Ambition, lots of good results, high confidence and skiers that are challenging the big names for their age. 

Head down, Work hard. Simple.

(Just paid 6.40€ for an orange juice in Flaine. Bring back Leogang.... or Bormio)

A good day all round!

Plenty of medals for Ambition's children on the fi

26 January 2012 AT 20:28:16

Well we woke up to blue skies and sunshine this morning for the first time in a while, which could only have meant good things for the day ahead.

The guys were all in high spirits and raring to go for the slalom race today, and I think it was fair to say that almost everybody had a pretty positive day. The only exception being Olivia Ward who had a bit of a head-on collision with a member of the public just outside the race piste after her first run, yet even with a pretty sore left leg, she soldiered on through the second run to maintain her second place in CH1, beaten only by her big sister Ella, who comfortably took gold in CH1 today to be crowned Welsh slalom champ for her age.

Big well done to Alice Taylor today who skied two really solid runs to end up 3rd in CH2. Considering she felt that she could've gone even better today, hopefully she can build on it and go one or two places better tomorrow! It was great to see Freya really happy with her skiing today, particularly on her second run (skiing a brilliant steep section compared to most others), and with her GS looking even stronger at the moment, we could well see a great performance from her tomorrow. Izzy Taylor had a bit of an unlucky day today, not faring so well with the steep partly due to bindings pre-releasing. Particularly frustrating for her considering how well she's been skiing in training recently with her making some big steps forwards. But, tomorrow's a new days and I'm sure she's more determined than ever to lay 2 runs down.

Last but not least though, huge congrats have to go to Will Wheeler, who, having skied 3 really good days of training - banging in solid run after solid run - did it today in the race, producing two top notch runs to run away with the win. Will's finally reaping the rewards of almost a year of really hard work, and fingers crossed he can make it two in a row tomorrow!

It wasn't just a good day for medals though, it was a great day for all the younger or newer athletes with us this week, like Lucas Burton and Joe Constantine, who both put the last few days of training into action today, and I was really chuffed to see them skiing so well. I have no doubt that things will go even better for them tomorrow too! Rob Waghorne, having only done one slalom race before in his entire life, skied a brilliant first run today to be only 4 seconds off Will, but unfortunately suffered from a case of bindings pre-releasing on his second run on the steep, but this has only made him more determined to go out there and do the business two runs in a row tomorrow.

So all in all, a pretty damn good day for Ambition. GS tomorrow, where most the guys are looking even stronger at the moment, so hopefully I'll be reporting back with even more good news tomorrow!



Back to the CIT tour....

Megeve CIT Super-G

26 January 2012 AT 20:25:52

Today was another great day for Ambition, Benn's blog is probably on here by now about the children who had an awesome day in Les Crosets. At the same time, some of the juniors left here at 6.30 to arrive in Megeve for the CIT Super-G races.

It was another great performance from Imogen Taylor, who started the race ranked 5th and ended up taking 2nd place on the podium. She did not make a points result but she read the course well and skied an attacking run throughout. This is good progress from our races last week in Austria. Thomasine also put in a good performance after some initial nerves to score her best points result. The boys gave it a good shot and there were some good sections, nothing special today but it was good to get back on the long skis and have another shot.

Onto GS tomorrow, for the juniors in Megeve and the kids in Les Croset. Lets hope we have more good news to report then!

Blood (nearly), Sweat (lots) and Tears (a few).

Welsh Champs Jnr Round-up.

25 January 2012 AT 17:46:02

The days have been long and hard at the Welsh Champs, with 120 competitors in GS and 100 in slalom, my original plan of training each afternoon was thwarted by a dodgy few days.

We had great prep for these races, on the 23rd we had a slalom timing session followed by race simulation with the whole Ambition Team on the GS race piste. Some of the kids giving the juniors a run for their money and Imi taking the fastest time of the session, much to the disappointment of the boys (who made some dodgy excuses about ruts - apparently our 1999 & 2000 births make big holes - Nat).

Anyway, the GS race was set to be a cracker with awesome bibs for the boys and an even better penalty than we expected. The girls race seemed ok on paper also with Imi and Thomasine going for the top spots. 

The day started off with a 2 hour delay after timing failure. So we waited and kicked off at midday.... Imi came down with an ok run to place 4th, while Thomasine skied brilliantly to keep in touch with the leaders. All seemed ok, although the holds did drag on for a while. The girls had a few problems with the soft snow on the second run and while Thomasine recorded another great result with 90 points, Imi did not start due to a back problem after being whipped by a gate on the first run. 

By this time it was 3.20 and the TD decided the course was not in great shape - (there were 2 gates that needed work). Myself and the referee asked for 10 minutes to get the slope right and after sweating a few litres and calling other coaches in from the start we were ready to go. Peter, Barney, Kieran and Luke had all made the top 30, were all within 4.5 seconds of the leader and were all on to make PB results - something that would have really helped this young group.

But in true IDIOT style, the TD decided not to even come and check the work done on the piste, instead cancelling the boys race. All the prep, shovelling and graft wasted without even checking. The time was 3.45, we had 55 men to go and the slope was in better condition than the first run, we had the blue dye out and there were people working their butts off to make it happen. I spoke to the TD who said he didnt understand what i was saying... i think i was using a universal language.

Anyway, today went a little better, we managed to finish the race at least. AND IMI WON making a 64, her best slalom result to date!!!! She was seeded about 8th and went into the lead after the first run before skiing a great 2nd run to win overall. Thomasine also made a PB result, 103 points, another step in the right direction.

In the boys race, we never got to see Kieran show his skill after his ski came off on the pitch, Barney and Peter got to the finish however, making the top 30 in the process and Aza negotiated the ruts extremely well to keep in the mix. On the 2nd run, Barney was alike a man possessed, moving from 22nd into 8th, with the 3rd fastest second run, awesome skiing from him. Peter had a few mistakes but still skied a decent run and Aza scored his best result by a mile, hanging in when the going got tough and improving all the time - Great job Max - he is doing all of this with true determination while praying for a growth spurt!!!

Onto Megeve for SG races tomorrow, while the kids kick off their Welsh champs challenge.... lets hope it runs a little more smoothly than ours did!

Been a little slack.....

Now in Champery for the Welsh...

23 January 2012 AT 07:19:06

Been a bit slack on the blog what with all the travelling about towards the end of last week.......

Anyway we are now in Les Crosets where we are getting ready for the welsh champs with most of the Ambition juniors and children, despite a crappy start with rain and soft snow yesterday, the sun came out and the slopes have frozen overnight, we are just heading out.

We made a bit of a rutline with the guys yesterday to get used to the bumps so that was a pretty cool way to start, the whole team watching each other nail through the troughs - Max Asquith pulling a front flip out of one!

Will keep you posted!! 

Maria Maria.....

Maria Alm for the girls, Lackenhof for the boys...

17 January 2012 AT 20:36:49

Not a bad day as such considering the company we were in at Maria Alm. Imi skied pretty well and kept up with the girls around her but didn't quite manage to re-create yesterday's form - the ruts hindered our performance a little today but on the plus side, the last week of racing has given us a chance to work out exactly why Imi is fast/slow and where she is gaining/losing speed. So we have a little more info to work with now. We are looking forward to racing on Hinterreit in February that's for sure.

For the boys, i hear they are trying to find their feet a little at the CIT slaloms, bibs under 100 for once so not a bad race on the face of it. Pressure is on to get some better results tomorrow for Luke and Max.

Myself and Imi will shoot off to Spital for 2x SG's after tomorrow's race while Max and Luke arrive home with Justin, ready for the Maria Alm NJR GS races.

Busy busy as ever - check out the start list from today. Not a bad field!

Getting it right at Hinterreit!

Imi Taylor shows best GS form to date while boys n

16 January 2012 AT 22:55:04

While December was a pretty tough month where snow conditions hindered our ability to race, early January has seen record snowfalls in Austria, also hindering our ability to compete with races being cancelled left, right and centre... 

But there is light at the end of tunnel, or more in the sky as today was perfectly clear and damn cold! Imi was on fire in GS training today, leading the 2nd & 3rd runs on the timing session that included girls on less than 30 GS points. Point taken Imi, you are better on the steeper, injected slopes than on soft snow on the flats. We are feeling very positive indeed for tomorrow's race in Maria Alm!

Meanwhile over in Radstadt, Luke Riddell and Max Asquith got their 2nd FIS Super-G's and Super-Combi's under their belt, Luke with a stronger performance and Max getting used to going fast on a pair of skis that at full reach he would struggle to touch the tip. All new experiences for these 2 and i was glad to hear from Justin that they both made positive changes on yesterday and were both in the finish.

All of this alongside Kieran's result from last week really makes me feel like we have got the ball rolling now. Hopefully the weather will stay calm and the guys can carry this momentum through to February.

Here's one of Imi's runs from today..... Think she is better suited to Hinterreit than Turnau!


Home sweet home....

Onto Maria Alm....

16 January 2012 AT 07:18:51

The weather has finally cleared and my god it is cold here now....

Myself, Imi, Tony and his team of lads finally returned home late last night, unpacked and we are now about to go and train on the race hill in Maria Alm in preparation for the FIS races over the next few days. Yesterday went a little better for the Brits, Imi worked some things out and raced like crazy to get the times she did, we have some way to go on the flats but this was a really good performance and she certainly showed that 'race face' and the right attitude. Jai Geyer won the 2nd run in the mens which was awesome, showing what he can do when he puts his mind to it.

Max and Luke are once again off to Radstadt and then straight onto Lackenhof for 2x CIT slaloms. Imi will be here racing Maria Alm and then onto Spital am Phyrn for the FIS SG's.

Lots to pack in before we head off for the welsh champs on saturday!

Will keep you posted on what we're up to.... as will other people it seems.

Marc Telling

Spanish invasion....

Spanish team join the list of ski teams training a

13 January 2012 AT 21:57:34

Another National team is coming to join us for training and some races this week, with the Spanish Junior teams arriving tommorrow (women) and wednesday (men).

As a nation we always talk about exposure to the other teams and training/racing against them and the vision at Haus Tirol is really starting to work. It is not just the athletes that learn by watching others, as coaches, it is great to work alongside new faces and pick up new ideas along the way.

The Guest-Book is filling up fast!

It's a Dog-Eat-Dog World!

PB from the K-Dogg.

13 January 2012 AT 21:26:05

He's only gone and done it...... K-Dogg laid down a couple of sweet runs today and made just over 100 points. A just reward for his hard work and commitment. In the last week Kieran has gone from big time struggler in the bumps, to making speed in one of the roughest courses we have seen since..... well... Klausberg in December i guess.... my point is it was tough but he did the business.

I am exhausted so not going to go into too much detail but Kieran put himself up there, just shy of 6 seconds out on the 1st run from bib 154. Not a bad effort. 2nd run he had a few errors but held on to score his best result by 25 points.

Imogen also put herself in contention with a solid 1st run and she went all out running 5th on the 2nd run before a cross rut took her out, shame as this was a completely different and improved perfromance to the one we saw yesterday. We will get there! 

Few pics from the start (which was delayed) in our much needed puffa's..... the floodlights had to be turned on to finish 2nd run, think Kieran started at 4.30pm..... Exhausted.


Get your groove on....

Little bit rough in Turnau.

12 January 2012 AT 19:39:08

Today was pretty tough in Turnau.... some huge, huge grooves/holes for the boys especially. Not too sure what it will look like in the GS once everyone is skiing the same course but will cross that bridge on Saturday!

Today was a mix for us, the older Ambition boys all DNF'd and have left Turnau. Imgoen Taylor had a tough day and struggled to ski cleanly on either run, something we have been working for us but did not happen today - we will be going again tomorrow but have changed the plan back to GS where we have more confidence for next week.

The performance of the day for me went to Kieran Norris, who will have skied to his points or even made a result in one of the hardest races he has done. Kieran worked damn hard, skied all day, practicing in the ruts of the warm-up courses and really skied the rough conditions well. Usually the brakes go on for Kieran when it is like this so to see him move as he did was impressive. Im sure no-one will fully understand my enthusiasm as Kieran has not set the world on fire but i am pleased he is moving in the right direction and i have faith in this guy. Watch this space - you heard it here first!

Some pics and vid for ya...


Plenty of Powder!

A round of the Anglo-Scottish and everything since

12 January 2012 AT 15:44:58

Well it's the new year, the BARSC and Anglo-Scottish races have already come and gone, and we're now well into the January block of training leading up to the Welsh in about a week and a half.

The Anglo-Scottish races proved to be a mixed bag of results for the Ambition Children, with most struggling to string two good race runs together in one day. Conditions were far from perfect though, to be honest, with the huge dumps of snow having already started there when we came out on the 30th of December. Suffice to say, 'bobsleigh track' seems to be the most suitable description of the conditions at the slalom race at least, which didn't make it easy for our guys to get two good runs in the bag. Anyway, I think there were some lessons learnt by all there, where, some of the girls found out that you've got to go for it from the very first gate of the first run to have any chance of doing well. But it's all a learning curve and at least that's something they'll take on board for next time!

The view from the top of the GS course in Les Houches...

A notable mention has to go to Will Wheeler though, who, just like at the BARSC slalom, came back from a mistake-ridden first run to storm the second to end up in 4th place in his age group overall (from 7th!). Although, he was originally down as in 3rd place when the race finished, but somewhere between the race finishing and the prize giving two hours later, Will had mysteriously jumped from 3rd to 4th... Ah well, still a great result and by far one of the best second runs of the day!

After that it was a case of dropping some of the guys off back at the airport, and then myself, Ella, Olivia and Freya (with Lucy joining us) travelled back over to Leogang to start the next training block. But by the time we got back, the snow had already started falling by the metre, and the next three days of training turned into three days of epic powder skiing. I think Ella had the steepest learning curve of us all... whereby the end of the third day, I think she was quite fed up of me having to dig her out of holes along the lines of the one in the photo below!

(In case you're wondering, this photo is upside down, can't get it to upload the right way up for some reason!)

Since the powder though, we've had some amazing training conditions, which look set to continue all the way up to our departure to the Welsh in a week's time!



Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.....!

Its time to race....

11 January 2012 AT 19:59:35

Well, looks like the forecast for Austria is getting clear and cold....... FINALLY!! I say thankyou but Justin has text me from the race meeting to say there are 240 boys competing in tomorrow's race.... plus 120 girls... and we thought CIT races were a way of easing into junior level racing! Looks like this is going to be a tough year!

We are now in Turnau to start it all off and through the next 9 days, there should be a variety of Ambition athletes racing every day. Training has been a little tough recently with some great sessions mixed in with powder days, though we have been able to rely on the piste at Hinterreit for some great training.

So first up Turnau for CIT SL & GS's, then Radstadt, followed by Lackenhof and finally Maria Alm and Spital. Then we head to the Welsh Champs. It will be busy but at least we have the chance to race. 

In the mean-time the kids will be training back in Leogang, maybe racing nearby in the Austrian series and getting ready for our onslaught on Les Crosets.

This pic will seem pretty standard for most people but when you haven't seen the sun or sky for 10 days it was pretty refreshing!!!!!


Ok, ok, ok.... im on it....

10 January 2012 AT 09:05:50

Back due to popular request..... the Ambition Blog...!

In 2012 so far from what i can gather someone, somewhere is not too keen on us getting the races in with the juniors! A mix of weather has made it pretty difficult but as we speak we are entered and ready for an onslaught on Turnau CIT series and as of yet... nothing has been cancelled.

So January, well the kids went to the Anglo-Scottish and i'll let Benn tell more on that one but from what i saw, we had a few good runs but overall not as strong as at BARSC. Back here in Austria, we had some great training to start off with - Barney, Kieran and Imi all present and making good improvements. We had a few days on Hinterreit training next to the like of Shiffren, Vonn amongst others, we also had a day of timing with the British Team athletes, putting Barney, Kieran and Imi up against it to push them. Roy Steudle also mentioned his powder day last week where he turned up to find that his coach's sister (Marles Schild) would be joining them for some fun skiing. All in all we are surrounded by some of the worlds best skiers here and if that is not enough to inspire you then nothing will be.

The new set-up at Haus-Tirol is also working well, with Paul Epstein and the GMVS 94/95 birth team staying with us through January, again great to be training alongside some of America's talented youngsters. We have also had one of the Icelandic Junior Team girls staying with us for some races and we are looking forward to welcoming the Ontario Womens Team on the 14th Jan. Already the vision for the base is working well and we are now able to create a stronger peer group around our own athletes to help their development.

What else..... oh yeah, seems one team is trying some 'fanstasy football' style tactics with Ambition athletes, not sure if you can call it bribery but let me say that there is a certain satisfaction in working for success rather than trying to buy it. I personally find it rewarding to develop athletes through coaching and finding ways to get them to achieve.... each to their own i guess.

Anyway, anyway, with Barney out and about it has meant we had the services of professional photographer about - Paul Lewis.