Olympic and World champion Thomas Alsgaard has decided to make a comeback in the long distance FIS Marathon Cup. This makes him a teammate of Frode Estil, who is also racing for Team FAST this year, and a competitor of former teammate Anders Aukland, who skis for Team Xtra. Frode Pedersen wouldn’t be surprised to see Alsgaard mix it up this winter?
â€œJa, why not? The foremost benefit for us is simply to have Thomas on the team. Of course, he probably wouldn’t be interested if he hadn’t trained fairly effectively.â€
Alsgaard himself would rather tone down the expectations for the comeback.
â€œI want to get a little in shape again and at the same time get to visit some of the best ski venues in the world. That’s why I want to do this,â€ said Alsgaard to nrksport.no.
Can Help Fulfill the Goals
The goal of Team FAST is to have podium performances in prioritized races, in addition to a podium in the overall long distance cup. Alsgaard can help the team achieve these goals. The manager has high hopes for the former expert commentator:
â€œHe can contribute with his experience. He is a well known person and increases the profile of the team. He is a practiced competitor with good psychology, so result-wise this is undoubtedly good for the team. This is another way to make Team FAST even better.â€
This past winter Alsgaard worked as a coach for the Swedish national team. He has been in close contact with the Swedish skiers, particularly Anders SÃ¶dergren. During a trip to Greenland he accompanied the World Cup star on an overdistance run of 5 hours and 20 minutes. As SÃ¶dergren told langd.se:
â€œThomas is an old fox and won’t give up easily. He is still unbelievably strong.â€
Safety in the Team
Earlier this week Alsgaard revealed in a live broadcast at NRK that he has been training up to 20 hours per week. After the opening races at Beitostlen, Team FAST got in contact with Alsgaard.
â€œThomas wanted to compete again and he found out that it was long distance races that he wanted focus on. It is positive for us because his wide-ranging experience will foster confidence. We had a great team to begin with, but this is still a major plus,â€ explains Pedersen.
Alsgaard is going to accompany Team FAST to their prioritized races. These include:
La Sgambeda, Jizerska Padesatka, Marcialonga, Tartu Marathon, Vasaloppet, Engadin Ski Marathon, and the Birkebeinerenet.
The first race, La Sgambeda, is scheduled for December 16th and is less than three weeks away. Alsgaard’s comeback reunites him with Frode Estil. They have been teammates since the start of the 90’s.