Muonio, Finland And West Yellowstone, Montana Next Up For US Ski Team
The US national cross country team will prepare for the regular November World Cup opener in Muonio, Finland. The US sprint team is not competing in World Cup races before Christmas and will be doing their early on-snow training in West Yellowstone, Montana according to head coach, Trond Nystad:
– Â We are here in Park City, Utah until October 31st, and then we head to Muonio, Finland for a camp with some athletes. This group will be Kris Freeman, Carl Swenson, Andrew Johnson, Justin Freeman and lone woman Wendy Wagner.Â These are the skiers that will race the World Cup 1 races.
Our new coach, Vidar Loefshus stays in the US, here in Park City with Torin Koos, Andy Newell, Chris Cook, Leif Zimmerman and Rebecca Dussault until they have good skiing in West Yellowstone, Montana (usually around November 10-15). After training and racing there, they will come back here for December Super Tour races and US Nationals.
Trond, what can you tell us about Muonio and what will the team be focusing on?
– I have never been to Muonio, but it’s in northern Finland, about two hours north of Rovaniemi.Â A lot of the skiers from Northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, Estonia, Germany and several biathlon teams from around the World often go there for early on-snow skiing. It should be busy there this year as well. Our goal is to go over to Europe early to get used to the time change and sea level and then be ready to perform from the start of the World Cup season.Â The primary focus is to get back onto snow, adjust to time change and to prime for the first races. We will do a couple of FIS races there as well.Â Muonio normally have lots of trails and they have a guaranteed 5-kilometer loop with man-made snow. It is pretty dark there at that time so we have to do a fair share of skiing on the lighted trail and/or with headlamps.
What’s the focus for the sprint team at this point?
-The sprint team’s focus is on developing qualifying speed and capacity, technique and race tactics. The team is looking great, so it will be a very exiting year for the sprinters.Â Â They are going to West Yellowstone around the 19th of November and returning for Super Tour races here after the last races there.Â We are doing a rollerski skate time-trial on this Saturday at Soldier Hollow, which should be exciting. The sprinters will do a sprint time-trial and the other skiers a regular length time-trial.
What else is new? Â
– The team is looking great…great test results in the lab/weight room and great running time-trial this week….so far everything is looking good.