Team Nordic Jobs Worldwide has finished Season XII in the 15th position in the Ski Classics Pro Team competition. This is an impressive feat because it was only its second year competing as a Pro Team. Now, the Estonian squad is hoping to get even better results, with top 30 positions at the main events.
Team Nordic Jobs Worldwide just had its second season as a Pro Team in the Ski Classics circuit, and we can say that it has been a success. Especially when we consider that this Pro Team is relatively new to the circuit and that it comes from a nation where skiing is popular, but it does not match the strength that it has in Scandinavian countries.
After a summer of intense training where the Pro Team was able to get together a couple of times, ProXCskiing talked to Pro Team’s director Mart Kevin Põlluste to know more about the goals for the upcoming season now that the Team will be 100% Estonian.
Team Nordic Jobs Worldwide is a relatively young team but still managed to be 15th on the Pro Team ranking. Can you tell us about that?
“Yes, we are a very young team for this season, especially. Last year we had great additions to the Team from Sweden and Finland. Now we are back to being an Estonian-only team, which is an important step for us to keep the sport alive in Estonia. This is the reason why the Team was founded – to give Estonian athletes a chance to compete at the highest international level. Both seasons we have done so far have been a success. We are learning and growing all the time. We will see how we do next season, but I feel confident we can produce some great results.”
What are the goals for Season XIV?
“We have a lot of young athletes now on the Team, most of them born after the year 2000. So, I think this season will be a test for them. Of course, with the more experienced athletes, we will be looking for some better results, but overall, we are still learning and training for the next years. I still believe, though, that we can conquer the top 30 individually in many races. The goal for the year is top 30 at Vasaloppet! Outside of Ski Classics, we have athletes aiming for the highest places in the World Championships in Planica, Slovenia – so each of us has different ambitions. Our goal is to become an all-round team for cross-country skiing, bringing together the best talents in Estonia.”
How has summer training been? Did the athletes start in rollerski races?
“Summer training has been going well. Every athlete has had their focus points during the summer, but we have taken part in some races – like the FIS Rollerski World Cup in Otepää and Trollhättan Action Week. In Trollhättan, we were in a bit of trouble with some health issues, but overall, the summer training has given us trust in what we are doing! We hope to continue to progress until the winter. Then we will reach our goals.”
Did the Team have summer training camps?
“Yes, we had a few “get together” with the Team and tried to push each other to be even better! Of course, it can be a challenge to get everyone together simultaneously, but it worked out nicely for some moments during the summer!”
Can you tell us how the experience of training in the Pyrenees has been? And why did you choose that location?
“At the moment (last week of September), there is only one athlete training in the Pyrenees – Henri Roos – and our wax chief Jürgen is helping him. But for sure, we will take this camp back into the schedule next year. The feedback from them has been amazing. First, the weather is much nicer than now in Estonia. Then there is the altitude; spending some days at 1,800m has its benefits. And then we can do a lot of uphill work, which can be tricky here in Estonia. So, many good aspects, and it never hurts with the change of scenery as well.”
Ski Classics in Estonia – is it popular? What could be done to increase the visibility of the sport in the country?
“I think skiing, in general, is very popular, and last season, when Tartu Maraton was in Ski Classics, it was a great introduction for many skiers into the series. Unfortunately, Tartu Maraton is not on the calendar for this season, but we hope it will return. But I hope that we have brought Ski Classics closer to the hearts of Estonian people and that people enjoy the content we produce. I think we can increase the visibility of Ski Classics in Estonia, which will come along with the results, athletes’ performance, and so on. I feel we are on a great journey, and I hope that with the assistance of our amazing sponsors and future partners, we can take this journey even further! We aim to make Estonian skiing great again!”
Photo: Henri Roos, Team Nordic Jobs Worldwide, training in the Pyrenees.