Winter has descended upon the Austrian Alps, bringing favorable snow conditions to the Ski Classics destination Sportgastein as early as November. Seizing this opportunity, the Pro Team Ski-Willy Marathon Team Austria held a training camp last weekend amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Gastein.
Ski-Willy Marathon Team Austria’s focus extended beyond enduring long sessions. They incorporated speed training to capitalize on their home advantage at the start of Ski Classics Season XV in December.
Josua Strübel, the team’s fastest athlete, has made a solid return, overcoming the setbacks of a persistent ankle injury that hindered his performance last season. Strübel aims to surpass his 48th position at Vasaloppet 2022 and has set ambitious goals for the upcoming winter.
Stefan Falk, a powerful skier from the Bavarian Forest, is joining the team. He is renowned for his success in high-speed races.
Pro Team Director Peter Kiene expressed his satisfaction with the progress of young Austrian athletes Lorenz Grüber and Matthias Waldauf. He noted their gradual narrowing of the gap to the team’s top skiers, which signifies promising prospects for the future.
On the women’s side, Slovenian athlete Eva Močnik demonstrated remarkable ambition, though back problems hampered her participation in the latter part of the training camp.
In the absence of Luisa Grießbaum, currently training in Norway, the Ski-Willy Marathon Team Austria showcased the talent of Sigrun Kleinrath from Gastein. At 19 years old, Kleinrath, a former national team athlete in Nordic combined, transitioned to long-distance cross-country skiing last winter.
Pro Team Director Peter Kiene expressed gratitude for the exceptional training environment, praising the Gastein Valley, especially Sportgastein, for providing ideal training conditions. Kiene also extended thanks to the Gastein Tourism Association for preparing the cross-country track excellently and unwaveringly supporting the team.
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Ski-Willy Marathon Team Austria
This Pro Team is the first and only Austrian squad in the Ski Classics Pro Tour series. Ski-Willy Marathon Team Austria secured the 32nd position in the Pro Team ranking during Season XIV and now aims to score as many points as possible and finish in the top 25 overall in the Pro Team competition.
As the Ski Classics Season XV approaches, the Ski-Willy Marathon Team Austria stands fully prepared and eager for the challenges ahead, confident in their readiness to make a mark in the upcoming winter season.
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Top Photo: Metod Močnik