Posted on 20 September 2011
September 20, 2011 (Davos, Switzerland) – Already last winter discussed Swedish and Swiss national teams they could do something together. “We talked with Guri Hetland, sports manager of the Swiss Cross-Country team, and all the pieces fell into right place. I think both teams will have the pleasure of training with each other in Davos and its fantastic environment,” says Swedish coach Joakim Abrahamsson.
The Swiss team is well known and is led by reigning World Cup champion Dario Cologna. He, Remo Fischer, Curdin Perl and Toni Livers romped to first ever Swiss World Cup victory in the relay in La Clusaz last winter.
Swedish team left Livigno, Italy on Sunday after a wonderful week with various dry-land workouts in perfect weather. “The sun was shining all the time, we had optimal conditions there and we could carry out the whole training plan we had prepared,” Joakim Abrahamsson says.
Davos has been Swedish favorite resort for a long time. The town lies in a valley with Flüelaschwarzhorn as the highest point, 3146 meters above the sea level. The town itself lies in 1260 meters above sea level.
“We are confident that in Davos we will perform great workouts. Anna Haag and Emil Jönsson have been here, and Guri Hetland lives in Davos and the surrounding area is great,” Joakim Abrahamsson says. Anna Haag and Emil Joensson bought an apartment in Davos.
Unfortunately, neither Johan Olsson nor Marcus Hellner will team up with the Swedish squad in Davos. The two Olympic relay heroes have not fully recovered from their injuries.
“Johan needs more time to heal his shoulder bu he can do alternative training. The same applies for Marcus. At first he was slightly cold, and then he stretched his knee,” Joakim Abrahamsson revealed.
Posted on 12 May 2011
May 12, 2011 – The start of May also signifies the start into the new season – summer preparations have now begun for most Cross-Country World Cup teams. For the coming season, some changes in the coaching structures have taken place. Below a summary of some that have come to the attention of the FIS so far:
In France, Christophe Deloche will be responsible for the men’s team in addition to being the head coach. As his assistant, Patrice Paquier will join the team and work as a conditioning coach. The newly introduced sprint team will be led by Matthieu Fort. Anael Huard will take over the role of the ladies’ coach while former world champion, newly-retired World Cup racer Vincent Vittoz will be responsible for the U-23 team.
In Norway, Åge Skinstad has been appointed Head of Cross-Country Skiing and will be responsible for the national team, recreational Cross-Country and marketing. Vidar Løfshus will move to Skinstad’s former position as head coach. After the retirement of Morten Aa Djupvik this spring, the position of the men’s coach is still open. Meanwhile Roar Hjelmeset (33) will become new coach for the female sprinters succeeding Jon Arne Schejtne who stepped down after last season. Roar is the younger brother of Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset who retired in 2005.
In Germany, the coaching structure for the national team stays the same with Jochen Behle in the lead. Bernd Raupach will be returning to Germany after a spell in Austria to lead the training base in Ruhpolding. Norwegian Guri Hetland has extended her contract as the Swiss head coach and World Cup distance team coach whilst her husband Tor Arne Hetland stepped down as the sprint coach for the Swiss team. Christian Flury, who was coach of the ladies’ team last season, has become new head of the National Cross-Country Performance Center in Davos and will coordinate the training base there.
In Canada, head coach Justin Wadsworth continues in his role as does Finnish head coach Magnar Dalen. The Swedish coaching trio, Joakim Abrahamsson, Rickard Grip and Arild Monsen, will work at least another year together. The Czech team remains in the hands of Miroslav Petrasek.
In several countries, negotiations are still underway and new appointments will be announced shortly. For the latest updates, visit www.fiscrosscountry.com
Posted on 29 April 2011
April 29, 2011 (Norway) – The end of the Cross-Country season is expected to witness 12,000 cross-country skiers at the start in Geilo, Norway for the season-concluding Skarverennet on Saturday, April 30th. For most of the participants, their race time won’t matter as they will enjoy the 38km race, stopping to picnic and enjoy the views.
Yet several World Cup stars are also expected to compete. Leading the way are Norwegian stars Marit Bjoergen, Therese Johaug and Petter Northug along with Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) and the Swiss Team head coach Guri Hetland. Last year’s champion Curdin Perl (SUI) will also be challenged by Jean Marc Gaillard, Vincent Vittoz (both FRA) and biathletes Tarjei Boe (NOR) and Michael Roesch (GER).
Warm temperatures and little snow in this part of Norway at this stage of the season have provided a formidable challenge to the organizers. In higher elevations, the tracks are still in a good condition, but in several other locations, snow must be transported and distributed. However, the organizers are determined to carry out the event, claiming that cancellation is not an option!
Read more HERE.