It didn’t totally click for the Norwegian sprinters in DÃ¼sseldorf this past weekend. Despite the podium performances, Ulf Morten isn’t completely satisfied by the team’s efforts.
â€œWe aren’t satisfied, especially not with Saturday. If you look at the historical results from the opener in DÃ¼sseldorf, it’s better than most years. Of course, it went extremely well last year (Ed.- Norway swept the men’s podium in the individual sprint, and took 2nd and 4th in the men's Team Sprint. On the women's side, Norway took 1st and 3rd in the individual event and won the Team Sprint). We have so much talent on our team that we should have showed more than we did,â€ said Ulf Morten Aune to langrenn.com.
He went on to explain the reasons that things didn’t go as planned:
â€After some ski and equipment selection mistakes in the prologue, some uncertainty spread among the racers. We were able to make adjustments by the final, but it’s a long sprint and we are dependent on having good skis the whole time. Many of the skiers were high up before start and we have to dare to take chances and stay offensive.â€
Accidents, falls, and broken poles characterized much of the day.
â€œIt’s small stuff that happens all the time. Of course, we can discuss what constitutes a mistake as opposed to what is a tactical miscalculation. On Sunday we made more correct decisions, although Petter Northug got run into and there isn’t too much you can do in that case. Matias Strandvall has to be considered this weekend’s â€œTexas-racer.â€ As a result, John Kristian Dahl and Petter had to use a lot of energy to catch back up. They ended up not having enough left for the finale,â€ surmises Ulf Morten.
Ã˜ystein Pettersen out with Asthma
However, the second place by Tor Arne Hetland and Johan Kjlstad still proves that the Norwegians have what it takes to challenge for the win:
– â€œI can guarantee that we will be a force to reckon with later in the season. The current plan is for the skiers to train at home until the end of next week. Dryland and high intensity is on the program. On November 8th, we are starting another camp and we are hoping for snow.â€
Ã˜ystein “the Sausage” Pettersen, who was supposed to race the team sprint with Kjlstad in DÃ¼sseldorf, was knocked out by asthma.
â€œI’m out with asthma problems and it’s a bummer. I probably shouldn’t have competed on Saturday either,â€ Pettersen told langrenn.com.
â€œÃ˜ystein isn’t totally healthy and is planning to skip training the next couple of days. If he takes two days off, or five, it doesn’t matter too much. He’s in very good form,â€ concludes the sprint coach Ulf Morten.