Blog: A demanding season

DPS Group sponsored skier Iain Innes aims to represent Team GB at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This is the first in a series of blogs from his base in France.

By Iain Innes, in France 

After almost two months with very little new snow, and many days of blue skies, the season finally feels like it's in full swing.

I have just finished a massive month of races having only had two days of training so far this year. 

  • My season so far
  • 32 races in three different countries, (Sweden, Italy & France)
  • My first four European Cup races
  • Two top 50 finishes in European Cup
  • New personal best (PB) in slalom scoring 43 points
  • New PB in downhill scoring 59 points
  • A second best score of 39 points in Giant Slalom
  • 2 PB scores in Super G

Remember, the lower the points score the higher the world ranking!

This season, I expect to be racing until around mid-April and expect to compete in around 70 races in total. 

Recently there have been some pretty intensive blocks of races. 

Just before Christmas I had ten races in a 14 day period, and I have just completed a block of nine races in eight days. This is pretty demanding, the intensity of racing is mentally tiring, and the travel also takes its toll. Typically I'll be at a venue for somewhere between 2 and 4 days before travelling anything between two and six hours to get to the next race. 

February is the peak tourist season, so the race calendar cools down a bit.  This will allow me a few blocks of training with only a couple of races a week. 

How I handle this mid-season period will be key in making sure I achieve some of my most important goals for the season. 

The National Championships are mid-March onward and I will once again be targeting medal success at the British Champs. This will require eight consecutive days of racing from Sunday 26th. Last year I took home seven out of eight wins in the U18 category. This year I will be the youngest in the U21 category and I hope to do just as well.

Further afield, I hope you may have heard how our number one skier, Dave Ryding doing. He's had seven top 20 results at the very highest (World Cup) level and most recently a second place, Britain’s first World Cup medal since 1981. 

This is certainly inspirational stuff and is really exciting for British ski racing and will hopefully increase interest and backing for our sport.

As usual, hard work and results are important, but rest assured there's still time for loads of fun off the slopes too. This year I'm in an apartment with four fantastic team mates, from France, Monaco and Portugal. Although we don't cook together, we often eat together and have a right laugh at our culinary skills and dietary tastes!