RacingTour de SkiPost-Tour Check in with David Norris and Logan Hanneman

FasterSkier FasterSkierJanuary 5, 2020

Norris and Hanneman, both skiers for APU in Anchorage, are among a rare group of U.S. men who have finished the Tour de Ski. We conducted a brief email exchange with the skiers post-Stage 7 of the Tour de Ski.

David Norris 

David Norris in Toblach: 2019-2020 Tour de Ski. (Photo: NordicFocus)

FasterSkier: Huge accomplishment to one, stay in the Tour, and two, remain near the top-30 in prob the deepest field the TdS has seen for a long time. Can you speak to that?

David Norris: I didn’t know what to expect going into the tour, but my goal was to finish in the top-30 overall and picking up some top-30 finishes in the distance events. Dropping out was never a plan unless I were to get sick.
The first three stages felt awful for me. I was healthy and fresh going into the Tour so I tried to just focus on improving each day and in general, I felt better each day that we raced.
FasterSkier: First time at the TdS. What are your takeaways in terms of how you grew as a ski racer this week?
David Norris: The Tour was a great chance for me to practice the skill of moving past frustrations and preparing for the next opportunity.
FasterSkier: Highlights?
David Norris: Toblach’s pursuit was a ton of fun. I got into a group of guys who were all battling hard against each other. Of course, the hill climb will remain a highlight to my ski racing memories.
David Norris in Lenzerheide: 2019-2020 Tour de Ski. (Photo: NordicFocus)
FasterSkier: Lowlights?
David Norris:  I crashed on a completely untechnical section of the 15km mass start in stage 5. When I got up I was in last after having a great start position.
FasterSkier: Top-30 on the Alpe. What was that experience like?
David Norris: Everyone went out hard and fought for spots before we got onto the Marcialonga trail. I felt really relaxed coming into the base of the climb after a few kilometers of single-file skiing. When the track got wide at the base of the climb I felt really strong and was able to move up a bunch of places. After about 8 minutes of climbing, I just remember trying to pick guys off/hanging on to dudes, listening to the fans screaming, and not clipping my tips on the alpine gates.
FasterSkier: You are a rarity  — a U.S. male skier finishing the TdS. What advice would you give to others who might consider the risk/reward of contesting the event — given the opportunity?
David Norris: I can’t speak for where I will be in a few weeks, but because I remained healthy throughout the Tour I think it should help boost my fitness. I don’t think we should be afraid of this event. I washed my hands more than ever and ate an insane amount of risotto and pasta this week so I’d suggest others do the same going forward.

Logan Hanneman

Logan Hanneman in Val di Fiemme: 2019-2020 Tour de Ski. (Photo: NordicFocus)

FasterSkier: Just finishing, what does that mean to you?

Logan Hanneman: It means quite a lot to finish the Tour actually. I am not much of a distance skier, so I was very happy to be able to make it through all of the stages without getting lapped or pulled.

FasterSkier: From a pure learning experience standpoint, what did you learn?

Logan Hanneman: I learned that there are some incredibly fit skiers in this world! But also besides that, I learned just how chaotic mass start races over here can be.

FasterSkier: Highlights?

Logan Hanneman: Definitely qualifying well in both sprints and making the heats was a highlight for me. Especially the second sprint. I was getting pretty tired that far into the tour, but so was everyone else.

Logan Hanneman in Lenzerheide: 2019-2020 Tour de Ski. (Photo: NordicFocus)

FasterSkier: Lowlights?

Logan Hanneman: Lowlights…ha…realizing just how much more fit I need to get in order to even remotely close in distance races.

FasterSkier: Comment on why you stayed in the TdS? And will you get starts in Dresden or take a rest?

Logan Hanneman: I stayed in the Tour just because I had set the goal for myself to finish. Sure on paper, it may not have looked like a great decision, seeing as how I was way near the back in the distance races. But in years past, I have not done much distance races during the middle of the season, and I feel that that negatively affected my fitness for the remainder of the season, so I wanted to try something different this year. Plus, it’s pretty cool to finish that last stage, even though it is just brutal. I am unsure at this point for sure if I will get offered starts in Dresden, but I think it looks pretty promising, so I will plan on racing that weekend and then heading home for a few weeks to recover and train.

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