Catching Up With The Man in Yellow

Matthew VoisinDecember 24, 2009
Tim Burke dons the yellow jersey (Photo: Nordic Focus/USBA)
Tim Burke dons the yellow jersey (Photo: Nordic Focus/USBA)

How does it feel being in yellow?

It is a great feeling.  I have been working for a long time so this is just great for the whole organization and me.  So many people helped me get to this level.

Has this been a goal of yours?

Wearing the yellow bib is something that every biathlete and cross-country skier dreams about.  My goal for this year is to be in the top 15 overall in World Cup points.  To be sitting at the top of the list now is very special.

Is your focus on your overall World Cup ranking or is your concentration on the Olympics?

For sure I am focused on the Olympics, but I think I can do both.  Rather then just putting all of my efforts to the Olympics to the contrary the more racing experience I get the better it will be for me in Vancouver.   Every start is an opportunity to tweak aspects of my race.

Does being in the World Cup lead change your goals for the season?

I have not really thought about it too much.  My goal is to try to have my personal best result every race.  If I am able to do that then I have to be happy with where I end up.

What is your training geared to now and how will that change as you get closer to the Olympics?

First off I need to recover, that is most important.  Then I will get back to what I call my normal training over the next few days.  This has more distance and threshold work and less top end intensity.  There are also quite a few shooting improvements I want to work on over the next month.

So you are staying in Germany with your girl friend for the holidays.  Are you excited about that?

Yeah, I am really excited about that.  I am excited to stay and minimize travel, which will help with my training.  Less time traveling will help me stay on form for when the World Cup starts up again.

What is your race schedule like next?

The World Cup starts up again on January 7th in Altenberg, Germany.  We have three stops in three weeks, two in Germany and one in Italy, with nine races in total.

What do you think it will be like racing with the overall lead once the World Cup resumes?  Do you think the crowd will be more electric then they have been for you in the past?

Absolutely!  The crowd will be keyed into the yellow jersey.  Some of these stops will have over 30,000 fans – it will be pretty loud.

Burke on the range (Photo: Nordic Focus/USBA)
Burke on the range (Photo: Nordic Focus/USBA)

It seems like a primary focus for both the USST and USBA is the building of a team atmosphere.  What is the team’s goal?

Everyone is really excited about the inner organization.  It is our belief that we have the best staff in the world.  Everyone from the younger juniors right on up sees that they can be one of the best in the world, which really speaks very highly of the entire program.

Care to weigh in on the wax protocol that was instated for the World Biathlon Team Trial?

Sure.  It is nearly impossible to completely level the playing field.  This decision helps those athletes that come from smaller clubs compete in the fairest possible way for a spot on the team.  Ultimately we are trying to get the best athletes on the team not the athletes with the best skis.

Everyone at FasterSkier would like to congratulate Tim on this historic achievement and wish him the best of luck this season.  Thanks for talking the time to talk with us.

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