Attend the Birkebeiner or other major American marathons and factory reps will show you next year’s skis. Look closely at TV coverage or photos of the Olympics and it is rare to see athletes with this new gear. Watch the finish line, athletes collapse and drool as they end the best race of their lives. Seconds later, a rep helps them off with the old skis and hands them next year’s skis with the shiny new graphics. The athletes of Team Atomic broke this tradition by competing on skating skis they received just days before their races and racing on new classic skis that arrived the morning of one of the first races. New skis need to offer a phenomenal level of performance to get Gold medal contenders to choose them over the trusted old skis that got them to the Olympics. This is especially true when the athletes only have a few minutes on their rest days to test the new skis. The skis, the new skis that is, can’t be just as good as the old skis to be chosen. It is not enough for the new skis to simply be a little bit better than the old skis. Skis that have completely new profiles, sidecuts and constructions have to be incredible weapons to get the world’s top athletes to switch after just a few minutes of testing. Atomic’s newest models provided that level of performance at the Olympics and helped Team Atomic athletes win a total of 8 Gold medals, 11 Silver Medals and 5 Bronze medals in Nordic competition.
New Worldcup Skate ski. New profile and new construction.
(photo by Jed Jacobson/Getty Images) Andrea Henkel charging on the new Worldcup Skate for a podium finish in the women’s relay.
The new Worldcup Classic ski proved to be just as successful as the skate ski. The classic version has a unique sidecut that starts as a javelin cut from the tip to the midsection and then flares out and becomes wider at the tail. This design gives the Worldcup Classic the speed and glide of a traditional javelin cut, while the wider tail prevents rolling during the kick. The new Worldcup Classic was delivered to athletes while the Olympics were in progress. The race technicians were very doubtful that Worldcup points leader, Tobias Angerer, would switch to the new skis at this late date. He was leading in Worldcup points and it was doubtful he would choose something other than the skis that got him there. But with just minutes to go before his first race, Tobias was overwhelmed by the grip, glide and speed of the new Worldcup Classics. He took Bronze in the 15K classic with the new ski.
New Worldcup Classic. New profile, sidecut and construction.
Atomic Editor’s note: Normally we rely on Atomic’s International Director of Nordic Racing, Peter Juric, to provide an interview for race results. Mr. Juric and staff have undergone extensive celebration over Team Atomic’s Olympic results. Input from Mr. Juric and staff will not be available until sometime after the Vasaloppet.