25 skiers were on the starting line when the Aukland brother’s privately supported ski-idol talent scouting program started in Tonsberg, Norway on Thursday with a 120 kilometer long bike race with sprint preems and climbing bonuses. All the participant met for a barbecue at the brother’s home on Wednesday night.
Starting with a bike race
– The athletes are healthy and ready for three challenging and hard days. We are starting up with an exciting â€œbike raceâ€ where we have included sprints and climbing bonuses. It will be a mass-start, but easy pace at the beginning in order to try to get everyone to be a part of the pack, says Anders Aukland.
Later the same day the athletes will get a chance to do a hard running workout. A time-trial loop with hard uphills will be run as intervals and Aukland isn’t sure that he’ll take the lead.
– There are many good runners here. I’m looking forward to see the level, and both Jrgen and I will do all the workouts, explains Anders.
A 74 kilometer rollerski time-trial is on the program for Saturday and a 3000 meter track running race is scheduled for Sunday. Vasaloppet winner, Oskar SvÃ¤rd of Sweden is expected to participate in the camp and test himself against the Norwegian juniors and young seniors.
– Oskar will be here on Saturday and take part in the workouts. He will stay after the camp and train with Jrgen and myself. We have both juniors and young seniors at this event and will not push the pace at the beginning of the rollerski race, but try to have everyone in a pack for as long as possible. The last 15 kilometers will be tougher and include sprints to see who has that little extra. Who knows, maybe we’ll find someone that can ski for us in some marathons this winter, says an excited Anders Aukland.
They will hand out 25 000 kroner (US $4000) in training stipends over the weekend to athletes that stand out. The arrangement has received considerable media coverage as it is a unique concept in the ski world.