In the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour, Season X, there were 35 registered Pro Teams that competed in the nine events this winter. Six of them are nominated to the Pro Team Director of the Year award.
"The prize is not automatically handed out to the director of one of the best Pro Teams, that is the Pro Team competitions prize. To work as a Team Director is a very hard work 365 days per year, and all Pro Teams have different prerequisites. The Pro Team Director of the year is handed out to encourage these very important people in the tour also in the smaller Pro Teams to motivate them for the future," says David Nilsson, CEO Visma Ski Classics.
The six nominations in this category; Andrey Tyuterev, Russian Winter Team, Russia, Magnar Dalen and Jørgen Aukland, Team Ragde Eiendom, Norway, Gustaf Korsgren, Team Ramudden, Sweden, Markus Walser, Team BSV IBEX, Switzerland Arnt Nyborg, Team ParkettPartener Sjusjøen, Norway and Anton Järnberg, Lager 157 Ski Team, Sweden. The winner will be announced on April 17.
Andrey Tyuterev Team Russian Winter Russia
Andrey´s Pro Team managed to get three podium places with different athletes, and the Pro Team’s first events victory at La Venosta by Ermil Vokuev. His athletes performed well throughout the season. Andrey has built a great team and increased the awareness of long distance skiing and Visma Ski Classics in his home country Russia. The team’s success is surely a welcomed spark in the Pro Tour, and he admits that this nomination is a proof of the fact that he is going the right direction.
“I’m honored to be nominated, and most likely it happened for a good season and for the invisible work I’ve done for the entire Russian Winter Team,” Andrey says proudly. “My task is just to adjust all the mechanisms within the team so that everything works without a glitch like a clock. One of the key things for me to do is to think a lot about the balance of my athletes so that they can combine our Russian domestic races and the international Visma Ski Classics ones. But for me the most important thing is that the Pro Team has an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable and everyone is equal,” says Andrey Tyuterev
Magnar Dalen & Jørgen Aukland Team Ragde Eiendom Norway
Jørgen Aukland, together with his brother Anders, is the owner of the team and its Team Manager while Magnar Dalen is the Team Director. The former takes care of sponsorships, contracts, budgets and runs the office, and the latter is responsible for travel arrangements, training camps, events, race staff and logistics.
They succeeded in taking their Pro Team back to the top as the winner of the Pro Team competition, and their team got the best two spots in the men’s Hertz Champion competition with Andreas Nygaard and Tord Asle Gjerdalen, respectively. In Season X, the Pro Team got 12 podium places, including both genders, of which three were victories: Anders Nygaard, Toblach-Cortina and Jizerska 50, and Petter Eliassen, Vasaloppet. The Pro Team also managed to get a triple victory at Jizerska 50 in the men’s race.
They had the courage to sign two new young female athletes, who performed very well already in their first Season, placed themselves among the top 10 female skiers in the Hertz Champion competition. Thea Krokan Murud also finished third in the Youth competition while Emilie Fleten got her first podium place at Jizerska 50, 3rd.The Pro Team also launched the podcast "Auklandmetoden" promoting the sport in Norway.
“It is always a great honor to be nominated. I think both Jørgen and I are nominated because we have one of the strongest teams in the field, and we participated in every race with a great number of skiers. We still need to work on many things to improve and fortify our ranks. It would be great to have a contender in the Climb competition next year. I believe that our strength is a small but experienced group of people, and our athletes are equal. We’re really happy with Visma Ski Classics, but perhaps one small thing could be added, which is to see more split times on TV broadcasts if possible,” says Magnar Dalen
Gustaf Korsgren Team Ramudden Sweden
Together with his wife Lina Korsgren, Gustaf has created a well balanced Pro Team with experienced Lina Korsgren showing the way for young talents. The team’s young athletes Ida Dahl, Jenny Larsson, Max Novak and Johannes Eklöf were more or less unknown athletes when the season started but they broke through and became famous names in Visma Ski Classics. Lina continued to be the biggest name in the team with her Vasaloppet and Kaiser Maximilian Lauf victories achieving one of her best seasons so far. All these great performances helped the team in reaching the 4th position in the Pro Team competition in Season X.
Gustaf has been able to devise a well-functioning squad where everyone feels safe and confident, and he devotes himself 100% to the team taking care of their skis and all the organizational duties around them. Showing the courage to invest in young skiers, and developing a Pro Team with focus on both gender. He says that his philosophy is simple as he wants to give his very best so that his athletes can perform at their highest possible level. He has many fond memories of the races in this season, but the greatest one comes from Tjejvasan, outside of the Pro Tour, where Lina, Jenny and Ida worked together in a perfect manner and finished in top 5.
“I feel grateful to be nominated again. It means that I’m probably doing a great job with my team. For me, it’s important that every athlete can focus on the good things after every race, no matter what happens. It’s acceptable to fail. For us, it’s as natural as succeeding. That’s an important thing for our unexperienced, young athletes so that they can relieve unnecessary tension. This year we where underdogs, that was easy in some ways. Next year, we must face the expectations that come along with success. We could still be doing well but not with the same results. If that happens, we must be prepared to keep working on the positive side of things, and keep up the good team spirit,” says Gustaf Korsgren.
Markus Walser Team BSV IBEX Switzerland
Markus has been passionate about long distance skiing for years, and his grand goal is to enhance training and racing conditions for young and talented skiers and offer them a unique platform for long distance skiing in his home country, Switzerland. He says that his Pro Team is still many steps away from top positions, but he is extremely proud of his skiers’ input and performances, which led them to finish 16th in the Pro Team Competition. The athletes, if you oversee the grand old Toni Livers, has an unbelievable low average age of 21,3 years old. So be sure that we will see more of this Pro Team in the years to come. Markus' approach to running his team is to be at the same level with his athletes and motivate them to train hard and find joy in skiing.
“This nomination means a lot to me. It shows that Visma Ski Classics appreciates the hard work I’ve put into building this young Swiss team, and they don’t just pay attention to the top Pro Teams in the circuit. I see myself as a silent worker who aims to create an atmosphere where we build things together. I work hard to ensure the best possible conditions for my athletes, and we want to raise awareness of cross-country skiing in Switzerland. I think that having a Pro Team in Visma Ski Classics helps us in fulfilling that goal. I know that we need to work intensively throughout the summer and fall to raise the bar. This season was great for us in terms of gaining experience and seeing how everything works, but next year we need to take steps forward,” says Markus Walser, Team BSV IBEX
Arnt Nyborg Team Parkettpartner Sjusjoen Norway
Arnt has shown persistence and devotion to his Pro Team and the sport of long distance skiing. He has built a pool of talented athletes with a good number of performances in Season X. His Pro Team finished 10th in the Pro Team competition, and Arnt says that the highlights of their season were Marcialonga, where Runar Skaug Mathiesen finished 16th and Sofie Elebro 8th, and Vasaloppet with Simen Engebretsen Nordli’s 10th place. He admits that being a Pro Team director is a demanding task, but he is fully dedicated to his team even if he has a daytime job as an engineer. His three main areas of improvement are training management, travel optimizing and better ski preparation.
“This nomination is a recognition of what the Pro Team has achieved in the past three years in Visma Ski Classics. It gives me motivation to continue working with my team in the coming years. Our strength derives from teamwork. We do everything together. I’m pleased that our young athletes were brave enough to be offensive in many races and skied in the lead group. Since we live near Sjusjøen with good snow conditions, we keep getting a lot of skiing kilometers now and start getting ready for the next season. Five consecutive events in January and early February are a hard undertaking, and we wish that there could be a break somewhere in-between these races,” says Arnt Nyborg
Anton Järnberg Lager 157 Sweden
Anton Järnberg has steered his squad for many many years with great success. Lager 157 Ski Team has been one of the best Swedish Pro Teams in Visma Ski Classics since the beginning. They have been among the best three Pro Teams overall for four consecutive years, and Britta Johansson Norgren has won the Hertz Champion title five times in a row starting in Season VI. In Season X, the team’s male athletes shone brightly and managed to get four podium places; two victories for Emil Persson and two third places for Marcus Johansson.
Anton possesses relentless stamina and total commitment to his team and Visma Ski Classics. Anton has together with Lars Ljung developed the podcast Vasapodden increasing the interstate's for long distance skiing in the Swedish and nordic markets. He says that it is absolutely necessary to stay current and create hype around his skiers beyond the confines of the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour. According to him, it is a make or break situation, and Lager 157 Ski Team has shown that their proclivity for mastering social media has paid off.
“It’s great to be nominated and it’s nice to know that I’m appreciated outside of my Pro Team as well. My core task is to make sure that our team has the best possible means to do their job and that we stay as a team working together from May to April. But we still have things to improve. We need to get better organization-wise and take one step further in the skiing world by showing up for the new season with better prepared skiers. On my part, I need to improve my delegation skills to serve our organisation better and also improve my English, as always,” says Lager 157 Ski Team’s director Anton Järnberg.