Frode Estil out-sprinted Kristen Skjeldal by 0.4 seconds and won the Norwegian 15+15-kilometer pursuit championship on Saturday
Hw doesn’t have a good explanation why he has not succeeded as well at Nationals earlier.
– I have often had a declining performance curve in January.
He admits that he had problems hanging onto Skjeldal in the skate portion.
– I was struggling big time when he increased the pace on the second skate lap. I was not looking forward to the third and final lap. Luckily he didn’t ski quite as fast up the main final climb on the last lap and I was able to stay with him and started to think that I could win if I only could hang on, which I did says Estil with a smile.
He thinks it’s to his advantage if the classic part is skied hard and fast in the upcoming Worlds that start in two weeks as well.
– I want as few skate experts in the lead group as possible after the classic portion, says Estil who also received his Olympic gold medal from the 2002 Olympics on Saturday. He finally got the gold medal that the doper Johan Muhlegg got.
– It’s not as powerful to receive it now, but it was still fun. It’s a victory for the anti-doping work, but I never thought that I would see it, says Estil