VAL MUSTAIR (Nettavisen): Sunday’s Tour de Ski stage generated big discussions before it even started.
On Friday night, protests were loud across the states after the first practice runs at the figure skating track were completed. A number of coaches and runners believe that a combined start in Val Müstair is not advisable due to the high speed and sharp turns.
However, one of those who sat quietly in the boat was Johannes Hosflotte Klæbo, the leader of the Tour de Ski. He was surprised by the many complaints.
Instead, Klæbo finds it positive for the cross-country product that the course is challenging.
– The fact that we have an element of that now and then doesn’t have to be stupid. Klæbo tells Nettavisen if people are afraid we’re going to beat ourselves up, maybe you should spend more time working out how to work out turns than complaining about the state of the track.
– The co-start here would have been difficult and there would definitely be crashes and falls, but that’s part of the game. For me it does not matter. I’m probably the one who expended the least energy on the fact that it was a hunting start rather than a joint start. Tronder says I really don’t care much.
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However, the fact that the track is in Val Mostère only seems to be a positive thing.
– There are two challenging ramps which I think will be insanely fun for both driving and watching. I think we should pay tribute to that. No one thinks that Kitzbühel would be fun if it weren’t difficult. For my part, I think this is one of the most difficult things we have faced. I think this is a good thing.
– Personally, I think it’s fun to have slopes that are a little tricky, and not just nice and gentle slopes every time, he says.
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Klæbo made his dream start on Saturday at the Tour de Ski with a win in the sprint. Now he’s first out at the start of the much-talked-about catch.
– A train is coming. There are likely to be puddles like this here and there. I think people will work closely together, so we’ll see. 10 kilometers is not very far. It will be like a classic four-stroke to the summit with a downhill from the Alps again, Klæbo says with a smile.
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Kruger is satisfied
Simen Hegstad-Kruger was also happy, as he managed to reach the quarter-finals in Saturday’s race.
Kruger was among the riders who reacted to the co-start plans on stage two, but now he’s praising the judging panel for listening to the majority of riders.
– I’m glad about that and I think it’s very good that Fis listens when athletes and team managers give feedback. We know best what it’s going to be like there. Then I think Fis should be commended for turning around and listening to us. I’m happy with that because I think it will be a better and safer race both with how it’s set up on Sunday,” Kruger tells Nettavisen.
The men’s chase starts at 1.15pm on Sunday, but first the ladies will be over the same distance at 12.00pm.
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