NASCAR meets Klister: the Nordic ”Speedway”

October 30, 20092

The Nordic Speedway, as envisioned by Ulvang and Capol
The Nordic Speedway, as envisioned by Ulvang and Capol

(Original Source:, 10/29/2009, Köp biljett till vallaområdet! by Kjell Erik Kristiansen, translated by Aubrey Smith)

        From the innovative creators of the Tour de Ski comes another idea to incorporate more viewer-friendly action at nordic events. 

          Jürg Capol and Vegard Ulvang, managers of FIS, are hatching a plan to allow Nordic race fans to get even closer to the action by selling tickets that grant accessible views of the coaches,  wax technicians, athlete warm-up areas and other areas of pre-race preparation.    


vegard ulvang
Vegard Ulvang
Jürg Capol

     “We must not hide,” said Ulvang, pointing out that currently what happens before the actual ski race is a very secretive, concealed process. Ulvang maintains that the start is one of the most exciting times, when there is great drama and often the stress of the morning preparation comes down to the last couple seconds.

          Although Ulvang stresses that nothing is “definite”, he and Capol hope to try their plan out this winter on a small scale, seeing what does and doesn’t work before incorporating the plan on a larger scale in 2011.

          The tickets to these”speedways” would range in price, perhaps bewtween thirty and one hundred dollars. The more expensive tickets would provide the greatest access and closest proximity to the top racers and wax preparations.

         One challenge that has to be taken into account and worked out, as Ulvang notes, is that the wax technicians will not be happy with having their peace disturbed.

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  • DOC

    October 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Nordic skiing could learn a lot about televised packaging from Boarder cross. Bordercross events are held on highly sculpted, made to be televised courses. Anyone who saw any of the last winter olympic boarder cross comps knows what I am talking about. It made for great television. On the world cup/tour de ski level, courses should be constructed and designed with television in mind. A well designed, easy to televise course with the top athletes in the wworld will draw viewwers from outside the sport.

  • Jamey Holstein

    October 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    10k-60k, 2.5 k -4 k couses, hills longer and steeper than current FIS regs to break up the boring sprints no so common in mass starts since skis and waxes became so much faster, mass start for all races (classic or fs). Nobody really that interested in the flat “sprint” stages of the tdf – just the last minute – only the stages showing epic suffering and one guy surviving are worth viewing year in-out. No different for x-c skiing. Watching “sprint” heats is like watching paint dry. Most important, if you want to make the races popular, you have to make the racers popular – thus you gotta have a reality tv/web show following the skiers with personality throughtout the year – showing success and failings on and off the track. Some select skiers in the race need a waist mounted camera, and have 3-4 snlw machines infront of various groups/skiers filming the action and sufering for the whole race ala cycling’s proven formula.

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