By Teemu Virtanen
The most successful Finnish Pro Team, Skiteam Mäenpää, has prepared for the upcoming season according to their plan. The skiers are ready to take the team closer to the podium in the Pro Team competition – currently Skiteam Mäenpää is 6th in the ranking.
The team have had a training camp in Livigno, Italy, every month during the dryland season, then in October, they packed their bags and went to Mallorca, and last month, they headed to Idre, Sweden, for an early snow training camp. The place will also be their destination for their final preparation before the season premiere in Orsa. Viktor Mäenpää is now in Livigno getting some high-altitude training done while enjoying perfect snow conditions under the warmth of the Italian sun.
“Viktor and Hannes Mäenpää and Christoffer Lindvall are ready to race in Orsa. Hans Mäenpää had a hand surgery last month, and he won’t be able to race until La Diagonela. Julia Häger has felt a bit tired lately, and she is taking it easy for a while. She will recoup very soon and we’ll see her in the upcoming races,” the team director Kim Mäenpää tells Pro XC Skiing about his athletes.
Earlier this year, the team signed a successful World Cup skier Anne Kyllönen who has performed really well in early season races in Finland and finished 30th in the 10 km classic World Cup race in Ruka, Finland, this weekend. She will be racing at Lillehammer’s World Cup stage this weekend where a sprint and a 10 km free technique races along with a relay are in the program. She is naturally shooting for the Olympics, but she will certainly take part in some Pro Tour races.
“We’re expecting that Anne can join us when we go to Orsa, but that remains to be seen. She is now busy racing World Cup, and we’re in touch with her on a weekly basis to see if she can race at the Prologue events. Her goal is to qualify for the Olympics, and we really support her on that quest.”
Team Mäenpää has been the number one Pro Team from Finland for some years now, but they are now joined by three other Finnish teams who are eager to dethrone the Mäenpää squad this winter. All Finnish Pro Teams are expected to be present when Season XII kicks off in Orsa just before the holiday break.