– The classic Killerhill is back as a part of the race course again. That’s going to be a challenge for the racers, says trackchief Tomas Jons.
The Swedish Skigames has been praised for everything but the trails and course profiles the last couple seasons. FIS and the racers have felt that the courses were too narrow and too easy for mass-start races.
The courses have now been redesigned, and the entire Killerhill is back.
The Killerhill became a household name in the skiworld during the 1993 Worlds. Several of the top skiers were clearly nervous when they approached the Killerhill.
Bjorn Daehlie, possibly the best skier of all time, had such problems with the hill that he devoted a section about the Killerhill in his biography, The Hunt for Gold which was published in 1997.
– The Killerhill in Falun is my big fear. It’s more than 700 meter long, and from the top and in to the finish it’s mostly downhill. I was thinking a lot about the Killerhill ahead of the 1993 Falun Worlds, but I was never able to eliminate the negative thoughts from my head. Sure I won the 30-kilometer race, but I lost time up the Killerhill on all three laps.
In the 10-k I tried to conserve energy until the Killerhill to avoid what had happened in the 30-k. I was leading by a few seconds at the bottom of the hill, but I turned stiff up the hill and felt like a tourist at the top. I had lost 7-8 seconds and lost the victory because of this, despite getting splits and great support from the crowd.
Daehlie says in another section of the book where he talks about the classic duel against Vladmir Smirnov that he in the pursuit took the lead ahead of the hill in order to slow down the pace.
The new courses are made so that they pretty much follow the ouline of the tourist courses. That means that locals more than in the past will benefit from the snowmaking that takes place to ensure good skiing for the World Cup.
The new courses are from a competitive point of view better for championship events like pursuit, mass-start races and relays. There are fewer short turns and there are more continues uphills. The courses have also been widened. The Killerhill is now 15 meter wide.
We have complied with the FIS race course requirements, says an enthusiastic Tomas Jons.