After a successful first season competing in Ski Classics, Kasper Stadaas, Team Ragde Charge, will be one of the skiers to watch the upcoming season. Despite not having raced during summer, this optimistic Norwegian skier is looking forward to having his best season so far.
The Winter season is just around the corner, and many elite and recreational skiers are excited that the time to watch and race thrilling long-distance ski races has come. And on top of that, it is always nice to know that the top skiers are motivated for the new season. That’s the case of one of the world’s best long-distance skiers, Kasper Stadaas, who approaches the long-distance circuit with a lot of optimism.
Kasper Stadaas, the 28-year-old athlete racing for Team Ragde Charge, has been a cross-country skier for most of his life, mostly succeeding as a sprinter. But it was only last season that he devoted his career to long-distance skiing, where Kasper found a sweet spot to apply his athletic skills: power, strength, and tactics.
And last season was a very good one for him, especially considering it was the first time he was going all in for a Ski Classics season. With victories at La Diagonela and Årefjällsloppet and a second place at Marcialonga, Kasper Staadas is undoubtedly one of the strongest contenders for the Yellow Champion bib.
“Last season was pure awesomeness,” this is how Kasper starts an interview for ProXCskiing.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do, but it was so much fun. Plus, I got to experience some really great achievements, too, winning races in Ski Classics and the Norwegian Championships. Nothing beats the feeling of winning, but Marcialonga was special due to taking over the yellow bib. But if I must choose from Ski Classics, it must be La Diagonela. Winning my first race as a rookie and first-timer was epic.”
But Kasper’s success is not only on the long-distance circuit. The Norwegian athlete also won the Norwegian Championships alongside his best mate, making this a special moment in his career. A moment he recalls with as much pride as his Ski Classics victories.
“Tied with that feeling was winning Norwegian champs with my childhood friend and best mate since we were ten years old. Sharing a win together was just incredible, as skiing usually is an individual sport.”
After his first and successful season, it was time to prepare for the current season.
“Summer training is always nice. Sunny and warm, great conditions for rollerskiing,” says Kasper, who had a late start of training due to a Covid-19 infection.
Only from the 1st of July, he started training more devotedly, having participated in three training camps with Team Ragde Charge. The first was in Lingdal, the second with the team’s sponsors in the Norwegian mountains, and finally, a training camp in Mallorca.
“The best training sessions I had were the ones with the team. There’s nowhere to hide on those sessions, and we push each other to the limit, and sometimes beyond,” continues Kasper, adding that he didn’t race any rollerski race to be in top shape for the Winter.
He now hopes to pick up from where he left off last season. Kasper is looking forward to all the races in the circuit, but he has two huge moments: Marcialonga and Vasaloppet. Nevertheless, all other events are almost as appealing to him.
“That’s the cool thing about Ski Classics. They managed to create a very cool cup that travels around to so many cool places with different types of terrain and challenges.”
And when it comes to competitors, Kasper believes that many guys will be fighting for victory. But there is a particular athlete he will keep an extra eye on, Thomas Joly, who recently told ProXCskiing that he aims to be amongst the skiers who will fight for the win.
Read More – Thomas Joly: “I Want To Fight For The Win”
When talking about specific training methodology, and training changes since last season, Kasper says he just continued building from what he had already done.
“I think for me, boring as it is, is to build on what I started on last year, be patient about stamina, and train the abilities you need in the longer and tougher races. It will hopefully just come after time.”
From time to time, all elite skiers feel tired and may lack motivation. But Kasper seems to keep an optimistic perspective on this issue.
“I do the things I like,” he says. As with many things in life, skiing must be about pleasure. “Training doesn’t need to be just performance or pain; it can also be sightseeing and adventure, just like when I traveled to Chamonix this summer and ran in the mountains. Or when I rollerskied from Sweden to Norway on a hot summer day,” says Kasper, stating that these are the things that keep him motivated and able to push the extra mile when needed.
“My life hack when it comes to training is: Do training sessions that make you want to train again tomorrow. That is the key to improvement in my mind, continuity. And it’s the improvement that is motivating. Become stronger and faster without necessarily thinking about it,” that’s the advice that Kasper shares.
Finally, we ask Kasper who and what he will be watching this Winter.
“I consume a lot of sports and like to watch a little bit of everything. Cyclocross is cool to watch with Pidcock, Van Aert, and Van der Poel. But it’s always cool to watch Norwegians do good on the world stage, so I’m probably going to watch Haaland, Hovland, and Dennis Hauger a bit more closely this Winter,” Kasper Stadaas concludes.