Tessa Worley launches Ski Blue on the right slope

Victorious Saturday, October 27 in Austria the first giant slalom launching the ski season, Tessa Worley shows the new ambitions of a team of France women in full reconstruction.

A ray of sunshine to fight against the cold snap. The return to the top of Tessa Worley on Saturday, October 27 on the track of the Austrian giant Sölden, traditional first race that launches the season of the big white circus, is more than good news for women's tricolor skiing. His victory without discussion in front of the Italian Federica Brignone and especially the American Mikaela Shiffrin sign the new will of the champion of Grand-Bornand and validates at least temporarily the choice of the great upheaval decided last spring by the French Ski Federation.

Tessa Worley skier on the roof of the world

There was, indeed, peril at the end of a strong pale winter 2017-2018. Four small podiums in the World Cup to put in the tooth, but all sketched by Tessa Worley, hid less and less the void very disturbing behind the ambassador of French skiing. "We are really in the hard", could summarize the federal president Michel Vion noting recurring evil for five seasons. That the double world champion of the giant (2013 and 2017), holder of the silver globe in its flagship discipline in 2017, also misses its Olympic Games in Pyeongchang (7e only the giant), and it was the whole squad of these ladies who seemed to be definitely slipping on the wrong slope.

Insuffle a new state of mind

It had to react. All the coaching of the French women's team was reviewed last April. A new director of the maneuver, the Italian Alberto Senigagliesi, and three technicians, Lionel Pellicier, Michel Lucarelli and the Italian Marco Viale, in charge of three groups of skiers (the versatile, the slalomers, the specialists of speed) were with a clear mission: to breathe new life into these faded blues.

"We must probably take better into account the specificity of women in our approach, in the preparation and management of injuries, perhaps put less pressure", emphasized Michel Vion. A speech also supported by Marco Viale: "There is a mental side. Girls must have confidence in the potential they have. I put goals on the action an athlete must do, never on a result. "

Less gamble and more going is what claimed Tessa Worley especially at the beginning of the new season: "At the Games, I was ready but you also have to manage your emotions in those moments, and I let myself catch up with the event. I really want to live a quieter, quieter ski season. " Echo, the slalomeuse Courchevel Taina Barioz, soon 30 years old, said the same thing: "I forgot for a moment that it's still a sport, and that sport is still a game. It's a little bit that I want to find this winter. "

Encouraging signs

It is therefore question of detachment and serenity to find in the blue house. Easier to say than when bad results stick to the soles. But during the physical training sessions last June, and in Ushuaia (Argentina) in September, the new staff tried to oil the communication and to disinhibit girls receptive to the changes undertaken.

"We are rebuilding and we are asking for time, commented in recent days Michel Vion, but the times recorded during our courses and compared with other nations push us to optimism. " Especially as boys also, the new Olympic cycle seems primed on a good basis, even if Alexis Pinturault and his teammates were unable to speak yesterday in Sölden, the giant man was canceled at the last minute because of adverse weather conditions.

Tessa Worley in any case was able to trace Saturday a beautiful line on the road to the reconquest. Domesticating these nasty parasites that often prevented him from skiing freed last year. The 12e and 13e Places Adeline Baud and Taina Barioz confirm the collective momentum. On Saturday, Les Bleues had a smile. It had not happened for a long time.

Jean-Luc Ferré

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