The hunt for World Cup points will be at least as important as the hunt for a medal at Worlds this season for last seasons second place finisher, Jens Arne Svartedal of Norway.
Have to perform well in sprint
– I depend on continuing to do well in sprint, says Jens Arne.
He won the Drammen sprint last season and was fourth in Otepaee and fifth in Oberstdorf.
Svartedal knows that he will have to race more races this season. He is for example doing the World Cup opener in Dusseldorf, something he didn’t do last season.
– Races where I can capture 100 points have priority, but capturing even 20 points might be important when you add up the World Cup.
Need to get better in duathlon
This summer he has worked hard to get better in the pursuit. He knows that capturing 10 points in these races won’t be good enough when the best skiers are at or near the top.
– I need to improve in these races. 10 points in duathlon won’t do it.
He has worked on how he is training for skating this summer. Technique training has not been the focus, but he feels that he has improved.
Others have Worlds-focus
Svartedal makes Worlds and World Cup equally important, but believes that many competitors have extra focus on Worlds in Sapporo, Japan in February/March.
The World Cup might be more open since its World Championship season. Many are focusing on Worlds and it becomes â€œeasierâ€ to do well in the World Cup, says Svartedal.
Svartedal ended up in second place, 250 points behind German Tobias Angerer last season. Tor Arne Hetland was third, only seven points behind.
– Every season is different so it’s hard to predict what will happen.
Predicts good season for Northug
Who will be your toughest competitors for the overall World Cup title?
– I believe that Petter Northug has a chance at winning. He could have won last season if they had let him race all the races. He is looking strong ahead of this season as well. It’s however very open, says Svartedal.
Last year’s overall World Cup
1) Tobias Angerer 829
2) Jens Arne Svartedal 577
3) Tor Arne Hetland 570