Meet Renaud Jay, the French sprint specialist, who posted World Cup podiums nearly back-to-back this winter.
Renaud Jay made his definite international breakthrough in January, when he posted his first World Cup victory, winning the team sprint in Dresden (GER). In February, Jay was third in the individual sprint in Åre (SWE), which was also the first event of the brand-new World Cup Ski Tour.
We caught up with the ambitious 28-year-old cross-country skier from Rhone-Alps region in France.
Born: August 12, 1991
From: St Martin de Belleville, France
* 3 World Cup podiums: 1st place team sprint (Dresden, Germany, January 12, 2020), 3rd place individual sprint (Åre, Sweden, February 18, 2020) and 2nd place team sprint (Planica, Slovenia, January 17, 2016)
* Competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (RUS), where he was 14th in the sprint
* Competed at the 2017 and 2019 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN) and Seefeld (AUT)
What are your overall season goals for the 2020-21season?
“The 2021 World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER) is my overall goal for the upcoming season. The sprint there will be my first classic competition at the championship level. But, of course, after getting a taste of the World Cup podium last season, I want more of that. Finally, I want to improve my ranking in the overall sprint World Cup. And who knows what else might turn up!”
What are your biggest strengths as a skier?
“I think my biggest strengths are my determination and my perseverance to work hard to reach my goals. With more experience as a skier, I feel that I’m getting better at managing and taking advantage of my strengths during the races, which is definitely a plus!”
What are your top performances so far?
“My biggest performances are my three World Cup podiums this winter, including one team sprint victory and my first individual podium. But I’ll never forget my 14th place in 2014 Sochi Olympics, as that was my first Olympic experience.”
Do you only compete in sprints/focus on sprints or do you race distance events as well?
“For sure my specialty is the sprint, but I try hard to improve in distance races as well. And my work has paid off: Last season, I was 19th in the 15-kilometer in Davos, which was my first top-30 distance race at the World Cup.”
Why did you choose to switch to Madshus?
“The most important reason for switching to Madshus is the good feeling that I had with the skis, especially in skating. I also like the idea of working with Sylvain (Fanjas-Claret) at the rest of the crew at the Madshus factory to develop a new work relationship to find the best material to reach my goals and
move forward with new challenges.”