Guigonnet works hard to improve and help his sponsors

Ed Guigonnet set out his goals for the 2019-2020 season with the aim of lowering his FIS points in his main disciplines, Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G and then qualifying for the World Junior Championships. Goals achieved, Guigonnet ended up with five podium placings including a race win at the Welsh Championships in Champery on his way to winning the Arnold Lunn CIT World Cup.

Guigonnet is rapidly making a name for himself as a name to watch out for. Guigonnet is at the stage in his life where decisions he makes need to be thought about as to how they affect his career. Having swapped over to race for GB Snowsports a couple of years ago, Guigonnet has benefitted from the experience of Alain Baxter and the British Ski Academy set up when attending British races. Training and his race programme is supervised by the Orsatus set up that is run out of Brides les Bains, close to his home in St Martin de Belleville. Guigonnet knows how to listen and adapt the information to his performances and clicked immediately with Baxter.

Combining ski racing and education is a hard number to successfully do but Guigonnet knows what he wants to do and getting school out of the way so that he can race, has been a goal for this season as well. His mother Caroline explains he has been "offered a place reading sports science at Grenoble in September, on a course specifically adapted to high level athletes: on-line learning choosing which modules to do when with only 5 weeks per year at the uni in May/June. A degree that can take up to 6 yrs rather than 3. He hasn’t accepted it yet as there is one other course he is interested in, less adapted to a high level skiing career, but exactly what he'd like to do. He will receive the reply from this course this week. He then has 5 days to make his final decision."

Guigonnet was up in Narvik with Angus Wills, Owen Vinter and Leo Karavasili for the World Juniors when the call came to head home. How much of a shock was it for him, when the call came to head home due to the Coronavirus pandemic? "It was quite a shock because we weren't really prepared for all the panic it caused. We didn't really know what was going to happen, if it was an early end of season or just a break. So yeah that was quite a shock when I knew that the whole skiing circuit just stopped."

Was it a mad panic and dash to get home once the call to abandon the season was made? "I was in Norway for the world juniors when everything happened. The night before the men's GS, the coaches had the team captains meeting and we were waiting for the debrief for the next day. And it's at this time that Paul (Trayner) told us that GB wasn't going to race the next day and we had to book a plane home the earliest possible, because we had no idea if countries would shut their borders. So we took the decision to go home as quick as possible. So at 11pm I managed to get a flight back to France at 10am the next day. And straight after that we found out that the championships were cancelled, so we can say thank you to Paul for making this decision early. After two days at home, France started a full lockdown. So yeah, just the whole issue was mental."

With three podiums in his last four races of the season, Guigonnet was running into good form as he headed up to Narvik for the World Juniors. Did he feel that he was building up to a series of strong results or just happy with the way his points finished up ? "I'm not going to say that I'm not happy with the results I was coming up with, I'm quite happy to have finished the season with 3 podiums in 4 races, but they weren't extremely important races with a good level so I'm a little annoyed that we could not race the end of season races with usually some good performance and points to take. But positive finishing this strange season on a good spot.".

Which was the race that gave you the most amount of satisfaction last season ? "There isn't actually one race that made me really satisfied, but if I had to pick one I’ll take a FIS Slalom in Orcieres Merlette in January. This race was close to perfection, the piste was perfectly prepared, the sun was out, the level of the race was quite high with a world cup skier (Thibaut Favrot) and I skied up to an honourable 12th place which I was really happy with because I was able to just let it go and have fun," Guigonnet replied.

While the numerical objectives were met by Guigonnet before the premature end of the season, Guigonnet also looks to make sure that he enjoys his training and racing. Being young enough to race again next year in the World Juniors, Guigonnet adds "next year it would be cool if I have the possibility the race in them!" Like many of the British racers, Guigonnet would love to have the opportrunity to meet up and train with other members of the British team. Guigonnet feels that this would have a really positive effect for all the racers as it could push the bar higher, both on the snow and in fitness training.

With the season now done and dusted, Guigonnet is focussing on his studies but has also spent time relaxing and catching up with series... oh and of course he has been in the gym. Living high up in the hills near Les Menuires, Guigonnet has the enviable luxury of being able to use his mountain bike around the trails there.

And with the world economy in a state of turmoil, Guigonnet is also being very proactive in highlighting the importance of the hard work his sponsors put in to support his racing. Since the end of the season he has posted a unique post for each of the companies that have supported him, doing his best to give his sponsors as much promotion as possible. This is something other athletes could learn from.

Follow Ed on his Facebook page to see how all the sponsors came to support Ed :

Edouard Guigonnet would like to thank the following businesses for their support of his racing:

MOUT'N BIKE, Moutiers

Snowsport Wales

Skiers Trust of Great Britain

Winter Sports Foundation

Leki UK

Sport 2000 Jean Sports and Belleville Pro Glisse

Head Skis and Boots

Birdie London

Cool Runnings Airport Transfers in Val Thorens

Maskells, London - International Estate Agents, based in Chelsea

The Hillary Hotel in Les Menuires

Free Spirit Alpine

If you can spare a donation,he has set up a donation page here

Follow Ed on his Facebook page to see how all the sponsors came to support Ed

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