Stian Hoelgaard leaves Team Koteng but continues in another Pro Team. The Norwegian who has five podium places in Vasaloppet continues to chase his first victory in Visma Ski Classics but in other colors than Team Koteng's yellow suit. Will it be in a Swedish or Norwegian team?
"I can't say which team it will be yet, but I am very motivated for the coming season," says the 29-year-old Norwegian.
Hoelgaard is the Vasaloppet specialist who has been on the podium five years in a row and in 2020 was stumbling close to winning when Petter Eliassen passed him just before the finish line.
This year, the Vasaloppet was not a success for him; he finished 38th. The days after the race, he became ill.
"Maybe something was going on already during the race. Then it didn't feel good at the first two races in Vålådalen. The body was worn out, and I didn't recover," says Hoelgaard.
At the 100 km season finale Årefjällsloppet, however, the body was fit for fight again, and Hoelgaard sprinted in as second behind Andreas Nygaard.
"It was important to get that ending of the season. It went okay in the races in January but then it was not fun with Vasaloppet and the double races in Vålådalen after that.
Is it clear you're leaving Team Koteng for a new team?
"Yes! It will be fun and inspiring to try something new. Get new input and meet new people," says Hoelgaard.
Will it be a Swedish or Norwegian team?
"I can't say which team it will be yet," Hoelgaard ends.