The athletes of the Swiss National Team spent last week in Andermatt, Switzerland and followed a schedule similar to the Tour de Ski. While most athletes did 6 races in 7 days, the sprinters participated only in the first three events. The program was as follows:
Day 1: Running – Prolog
Day 2: Roller-Ski Skate — Pursuit
Day 3: Roller-Ski Skate – Sprint
Day 4: Recovery Day
Day 5: Roller-Ski Skate/Classic – Duathlon
Day 6: Roller-Ski Classic
Day 7: Roller-Ski Skate — Uphill race
The last race on day 7 was a near-perfect imitation of the last stage of the â€œRealâ€ Tour de Ski where athletes have to climb to Alpe Cermis, a famous Alpine Skiing resort in Val di Fiemme. The final climb during the actual Tour de Ski is 3.7 km long with an average inclination of 12-14% and an altitude gain of 425 meters.
Similar to the real Tour de ski, athletes received bonus seconds (5-15 seconds) for top three finishes each day. Bonus seconds were subtracted from the competitor’s actual race time at the end of the Tour.
During day 4, athletes received a golf lesson from former US Ski Team Head Coach Trond Nystad. Trond is now serving as the sprint coach of the Swiss National Team.
The Swiss team is hoping that this training will pay off with improved results at this year’s Tour. Last year, Switzerland had one podium place during the Tour de Ski with Christoph Eigenmann’s victory in the Munich sprint.
Sources: www.nordicski.ch, FIS