The last World Cup weekend before the World Championships takes place only a few kilometers away from the famous Holmenkollen.
Harbor town of Drammen will welcome World’s best Cross-Country athletes for the first time at Konnerud, which lies only 6 km from downtown. Drammen has hosted seven World Cup sprints downtown and for the first time will organize a full weekend program.
Men will start on Saturday in 15 km Classic and ladies will fight over 10 km Classic. Sunday will be a sprint free day. The Czech team spent the last week preparation phase in Sweden’s Langberget and arrived in Drammen straight from the training camp. “I wish that our athletes show good performance in Drammen. I told them, you don’t have to win but if you are not in top ten, you can forget a medal from the Worlds. Top shape won’t come in a week,” says Czech head coach Miroslav Petrasek is satisfied with the 10 day training camp in Sweden. Complete World Cross-Country skiing elite should show up in Drammen. “I don’t think about what result I could or should achieve here. World Champs count most anyway,” explains Lukas Bauer who currently occupies third place in the Overall World Cup standing behind Dario Cologna and Petter Northug.
Bauer was satisfied with the final training phase before the World Champs. “Blue skies, -10°C almost all the time and tracks that were always perfectly ready. We could benefit from three 10 km loops with different profiles and then a 25 km course for classic. I started with easier workouts and trained 4hrs a day. Afterwards I added faster and harder sessions including a sharp 10 km Classic,” he revealed the training process. “I feel in a decent shape, above all I’m healthy,” concluded Bauer.
The Czech team is going to move to Oslo on Monday.
Ben Theyerl was born into a family now three-generations into nordic ski racing in the US. He grew up skiing for Chippewa Valley Nordic in his native Eau Claire, Wisconsin, before spending four years racing for Colby College in Maine. He currently mixes writing, politics, and skiing (not necessarily all related) while based out of Crested Butte, CO, where he coaches the best group of high schoolers one could hope to find.