By Johan Trygg
Anastasia Vlasova, Russian Winter Team, took her first podium place in the Pro Tour when she finished third at Toblach-Cortina in season X with a strong sprint.
Now the 29-year-old Russian has got the taste of stepping up on the podium.
“Toblach-Cortina was a bright day. Now I want to fight for the podium in every race,” says Vlasova.
Anastasia Vlasova grew up in Syktyvkar, the Komi region’s capital and largest city, with about 240,000 inhabitants. It’s a place where cross country skiing has a long tradition as a popular sport. Vlasova decided early on to become a skier. But she does not have so much experience of Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour. In season IX, she made her first attempt when she finished 11th in La Diagonela.
In season X came the breakthrough with third place in Toblach-Cortina. Britta Johansson Norgren and Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes were about a minute ahead and made up for the victory, but behind that, there was a sprint finish with five skiers involved. With an impressive final stretch, Vlasova took third place just ahead of Katerina Smutna, Lina Korsgren, her teammate Olga Tsareva and Roxane Lacroix.
How do you remember that day?
“This day was the brightest of the last season. I initially knew that the track was very suitable for me, and on that day, my mother flew in from Russia to support me, which gave me even more confidence in myself and my abilities, says Vlasova”
A bright day in Cortina. Anastasia Vlasova with Pro Team Director Andrey Tyuterev and Olga Tsareva.
What is your goal for season XI?
“My main goal for the season is to continue to gain experience and continue to fight for the podium in every race.”
What do you think of Visma Ski Classics plan B event schedule?
“I think that plan B looks very balanced! At these difficult times, any opportunity to hold a competition will look to be a victory for the organizers over the circumstances! I hope that everything planned will take place!”
How has the training gone this summer and autumn?
“In the summer, we had to adjust the training plan, but we did all the planned work. We held two high-altitude training camps in the beautiful place Elbrus (Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia). Otherwise, we were at home a lot. And in October, we managed to get up on the first snow.
Which race (s) are you most looking forward to this winter?
“I look forward to the races in Italy, but also the hunt to take part in the races that end the season in Scandinavia; Vasaloppet, Birkebeinerrenet, Reistadloppet, and Ylläs-Levi.”
When did you start competing in ski races?
“My first start was in third grade at school competitions. It was a very bright moment in my life. After that, I realized that I want to ski all of my life.”
Can you tell us a little about what it’s like to be a part of RWT?
“I have been in the team from the start. I’m very pleased to see how our team’s results are growing from year to year, and how much effort our management and all team members put in to achieve such results. I am glad to be part of the large and friendly Russian Winter Team.”
Vlasova on the podium with Johansson Norgren and Vikhagen Gjeitnes.