Norwegian skiers have not fared well in the men’s pursuit race in recent years and the head coach has (once again) decided to use two of his skiers as pace setters or rabbits in the classic portion of the race. The idea is for the â€œrabbitsâ€ to set a hard pace and that way weaken other nations skate specialist and increases the medal chances for Norway’s only realistic medal hope, Frode Estil. Many are skeptic that their strategy will work.
Can help the German’s just as much
National team coach Krister Sorgard is attempting to increase the medal chances for Frode Estil. Former national team coach Pal Gunnar Mikkelsplass is skeptical.
– We have had problems with the pursuit after in was changed to (same day) 15+15 kilometer admits national team coach Krister Sorgard. He is for that reason trying to beat the competition with strategy — once again.
Odd-Bjorn Hjelmeset was supposed to set the pace in the pursuit at Oberstdorf Worlds last season, but didn’t contribute the way he had hoped since he broke a pole after only one kilometer. This time the coach has decided to increase the teamwork by giving half of the team jobs as helpers for Frode Estil and Tord Asle Gjersdalen.
– We view ourselves as outsiders in this event. Frode Estil is our only medal candidate. Tord Asle is a longshot, while the last two skiers, Anders Aukland and Eldar Ronning are there to help, says Sorgard and adds that this is plan A.
The pursuit team was selected two weeks ago
Sorgard won’t reveal plan B.
– We’ll adjust to that during the race if we have to, he adds.
First time Olympian Eldar Ronning has known about the strategy for awhile and is ready to contribute to help Estil succeed in the pursuit race.
– We knew about the strategy with two rabbits two weeks ago, says Ronning before he and the rest of the team is speeding away for a blood-screening test