By Johan Trygg
During November, Team Igne, prepared themselves at a training camp in Saxnäs, s snow safe place in the Swedish mountain world, not far from the Norwegian border.
“Everyone in the team feels prepared and pumped, the job has been done,” says Team Director Jörgen Brink in front of the season premiere in Livigno this weekend.
Saxnäs is a place in the northwest of Sweden that always has early snow and throughout the years has attracted many cross country skiers for early season training on natural snow.
“There’s lots of snow, incredibly well-groomed tracks, a long mountain climb of 4 kilometers and a top-class accommodation,” says Team Igne athlete Klas Nilsson.
Niklas Henriksson, who was the team's best skier at Vasaloppet (20th) last winter, says this about training in Saxnäs:
“Saxnäs with real snow gives a hardness that is difficult to get on fast artificial snow tracks. Steep slopes and very fluffy snow apply hard on the upper body. Just what we need now at the beginning of the season”.
Johan Lövgren is the team's strongest muscular athlete. Or what about his test record of 38 chin-ups!
“We practice long workouts alternating with intervals with effective time up to one hour. Impulses, strength, and speed are also included as always. An important part of our training”, says Lövgren.
Now the team is preparing in Livigno until the premiere events of the season. On Friday, Team Director Brink, the triple Vasaloppet winner, will also jump in and race the Pro Team Tempo.
“It feels like everyone in the team has taken a step and it will be fun to see Sofia making her debut in Ski Classics”, says Klas Nilsson.
27-year-old Sofia Lindberg becomes an exciting new face in the women's peloton.
“For me, it has become much more double poling this pre-season than before. Now in Saxnäs we have done 4 hours in tough snowy conditions. It hardens. I feel pumped and looking forward to the prologues in Livigno,” says Lindberg.
After the competitions in Livigno, the team will return to Sweden and train before the next race, La Venosta on December 14.
“We will travel late and stay on lowland and just go up for the race. It is a concept that has worked very well on the athletes before,” says Jörgen Brink.
The plan for the team is to be in good shape in January and then put in more training in February and find top shape again for Vasaloppet. In addition to that big race, Marcialonga is another important goal for the team.