Saturday and Sunday, Petter Northug, Team Northug Crucible, will race against the best long-distance skiers during the Ski Classics prologue weekend.
“I had a good month of training in October, and there was a lot of hard training in November. Now I need some competitions to get in shape, Northug tells Langrenn.com.
Earlier this fall, Northug announced that he was launching his own Ski Classics Pro Team, Team Northug Crucible. The main goals for the season will not come until after the New Year:
“Marcialonga, Birken and Vasaloppet are the most important. The plan is to race all competitions until Marcialonga and make an assessment of the form and how it has worked after that, says Petter and continues:
“If I am in good shape, and motivated for it, then I will start Vasaloppet. I will make that assessment in February when I have finished Marcialonga.”
Petter Northug is in Bad Gastein, Austria. Tomorrow awaits Pro Team Tempo and, on Sunday, the Criterium.
If you win Vasaloppet, will it be the biggest victory in your career?
“It is difficult to compare, but it will be big. Of this type of race, Vasaloppet is the largest. It has a history, especially in Sweden.”
According to Northug, the 90 kilometers long and flat course from Sälen to Mora is also perfect for him:
“I really like double poling. If I get in good shape and on the right track, I also have the opportunity to follow in difficult terrain.
How is your sprint now?
“It’s probably not what it once was, but there is always something going on if I’m in a race,” he says with a smile.
After the competitions at altitude in Bad Gastein this weekend, and La Venosta next weekend, he will stay at altitude over Christmas and keep training.
“I am most excited about how the form will be at the end of January. I need competitions to get in shape, so I think I’ll get a good boost now.”
“Now I hope to be able to build up that form. That’s what I’m most excited about.”
Ski Classics Pro Tour Season XIV (2022/2023)
- Event 1: December 10, 2022 – Bad Gastein PTT, Bad Gastein, Austria, 15km
- Event 2: December 11, 2022 – Bad Gastein Criterium, Bad Gastein, Austria, 35km
- Event 3: December 17, 2022 – La Venosta Criterium, Val Venosta, Italy, 40km
- Event 4: January 14, 2023 – Pustertaler Ski Marathon, Sexten, Italy, 62km
- Event 5: January 15, 2023 – Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, Niederdorf, Italy, 30km
- Event 6: January 21, 2023 – Engadin La Diagonela, Engadin Valley, Switzerland, 55km
- Event 7: January 29, 2023 – Marcialonga, Trentino, Italy, 70km
- Event 8: February 12, 2023 – Jizerská50, Bedrichov, Czech Republic, 50km
- Event 9: February 18, 2023 – Grönklitt Criterium, Orsa Grönklitt, Sweden, 50km
- Event 10: February 19, 2023 – Grönklitt ITT, Orsa Grönklitt, Sweden, 15km
- Event 11: March 5, 2023 – Vasaloppet, Sälen-Mora, Sweden, 90km
- Event 12: March 18, 2023 – Birkebeinerrennet, Rena-Lillehammer, Norway, 54km
- Event 13: April 1, 2023 – Reistadløpet, Setermoen-Bardufoss, Norway, 40km
- Event 14: April 2, 2023 – Summit 2 Senja, Bardufoss- Finnsnes, Norway, 67km
More info about the Ski Classics Pro Tour you can find at skiclassics.com.
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Photo: Maxim Thore/Bildbyrån