Ulvang Skeptical About Big City Sprints

FasterSkierApril 22, 2004

Norwegian newspaper VG reports:

The cross country sprint racers have long ago captured Düsseldorf, Stockholm and Drammen. They are moving into Prague, Bern and Goteborg as well this winter.

Norway’s dominating sprint-queen Marit Bjorgen is getting a chance to capture (the hearts of) more of Europe’s big cities.

Former Olympic champion and member of the FIS cross country committee, Vegard Ulvang (Norway) is skeptical to this development.

“These are interesting projects but I have some reservations regarding this development. This type of new marketing of cross country skiing is interesting but it can become too many big city races. We need to first of all make sure that the tracks and course profiles are ensuring quality racing and fair competition,” says Ulvang.

The former champion is of the opinion that this winters sprint race in Prague that will be held in a park with rolling terrain can become a valuable addition to the World Cup program, but says at the same time that it is more important to make good TV coverage from competitions in (more) challenging terrain, than just to please spectators.
Drammen, Norway will keep its sprint race for next season. This is scheduled right ahead of the Holmenkollen, Oslo races where again a good old fashioned 50-kilometer classic will be held.


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