Sprint Racing — How Can We Get Better?

FasterSkierJanuary 14, 2005

The following is meant to be a contribution to get creative ideas coming and a discussion going regarding sprint race-schedules, race format and athlete selection:

I have had a chance to observe the last three main sprint races in the US and have some suggestions for how to make training for sprint racing more attractive and for North American sprinters to become better. There are not enough sprint races. Sprinters need more races and 1000-1500 meter individual start races should be a new event.


1. Specializing in sprint is or might soon be necessary in order to become a good World Cup sprinter. This is already the case for the men’s World Cup racing.  The sprinters are getting stronger and faster and fewer and fewer all-arounder's will make the top 16 or top 24 cut in the future.

2. You need to frequently race sprint races in order to become good at sprints. Long races will not prepare you for sprint racing.

3. Skiing very fast in the prolog is essential in order to be successful in sprint races and to make the cut in future World Cup races. It’s unrealistic to think that anything but a top three (or within 3 seconds) of the winner of domestic Canadian or US races will be close to making the top 16 cut in World Cup — and that’s when you are racing the country’s best sprinters. That has to be the mentality of adult skiers who want to succeed internationally in sprints. Juniors can modify this a little, but doing well at junior Worlds might require a top 10 performance among the seniors at Nationals?   

4. Unfortunate incidents like crashes will happen in sprint, making it important to have many races to choose from and for the ski federation to select racers from.


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