Vincent Vittoz captured France’s first ever Nordic World Championship gold on Sunday in the men’s pursuit race at the World Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany.
Here are interviews with Vittoz and Frode Estil, the bronze medalist.
Frode Estil (middle) was happy after sprinting to a bronze medal. Giorgio Di Centa (to the right), took silver while Martin Bajcicak (on the left) protested Estil’s lane change at the end. The protest was denied. Photo: Stian Hgland
Frode Estil once again managed to be in peak shape at a big championship. Today’s bronze medal was his ninth championship medal, but he felt that he had skied better races earlier this season.
– It wasn’t my best skate race. I felt that I skied faster at Nationals. Today I was just skiing in the pack, trying to conserve energy. I wasn’t a great skate race for me, says Frode Estil.
– I had a chance to take gold going up the last hill and tried to pass Di Centa, but it was too narrow and I had to slow down. That was too bad. It would have been exciting to see what could have happened if I had been able to pass. I lost speed and it’s hard to pick it up again. I knew that I had a chance to medal when I was fourth on top of the last uphill, says Frode Estil.
Estil wasn’t able to hang on and lost some ground when Vittoz, Di Centa and Sodergren made a move and pulled away in the second to last uphill.
– I knew it was a calculated risk to stay behind, but I didn’t think anyone would make a move on that hill. Luckily they didn’t manage to get that many seconds lead and I was able to catch them in the last hill. I knew that something was going to happen in that hill and tried to have some energy left, says Estil.