By Johan Trygg
Team Igne, the Swedish Pro Team from north of Sweden, is a small team with high hopes.
“We both train more hours and tougher sessions this summer than before. We now also have the opportunity to focus more or less full-time thanks to our sponsor Igne,” says Klas Nilsson, who finished fifth at Vasaloppet in season X. The 34-year-old’s greatest achievement.
Klas himself has been competing on the Pro tour since 2012 but he has been focus more seriously in the lasts seasons. Klas is an offensive athlete often seen in the leading group at the beginning of the races. But the energy has not been enough all the way to the finish line earlier.
In recent seasons, things have started to look different. In 2019, he finished 15th at Kaiser Maximilan Lauf and then 11th at Marcialonga. His two best placements so far.
Last winter, he was 15th at Marcialonga and then he did the great success with the fifth place at Vasaloppet, where he was the best non-Norwegian athlete.
Klas was happy after Vasaloppet 2020.
It is law firm Igne with one of the owners Mathias Blomberg who has made the athletes in the team in recent years able to prepare more professionally through their sponsorship support.
In front of season XI, the guys in Team Igne take the preparation one step further.
Klas is almost a full-time athlete now. Previously he has been the owner of the sports shop Northsport, which has taken a lot of Klas time.
“Now I have sold 90% of the company and can focus more on training,” Klas declares.
His teammates Johan Lövgren and Niklas Henriksson, both 29 years old, also made their best placements at Vasaloppet last winter when they finished 15th and 19th. They will also be able to focus more or less 100% on training for a large part of the year.
The team has already had two training camps and in mid-August it is time for the third.
“We have trained harder than ever at the camps this summer,” Klas states.
During season X, the team had three-time Vasaloppet winner Jörgen Brink as Pro Team Director. That will not be the case during season XI.
“We had a great time together with Jörgen but now he has chosen to be more at home with his family and invest in his own business with training camps and training programs. We will continue with the same philosophy in training as before but develop it a little bit. There will be more interval workouts every week and we also push harder on the longer sessions,” says Klas.
Klas has now the well-known biathlon coach Wolfgang Pichler as his coach.
“Wolfgang plan my training and at the training camps we all train according to his philosophy, says Klas.
For season XI Team Igne will have their primary focus on Marcialonga and Vasaloppet.
“We will try to be in good shape in January with the main focus on Marcialonga. Then we have to enter a training period and recharge for Vasaloppet,” says Klas.
Even though Klas is 34 years old, he sees that there are good opportunities for him to develop.
“The fifth place at Vasaloppet inspires me to train more and focus even harder than before. I have been skiing for many years, but I have not been training that hard for so long. I think I can continue to make progress,” Klas ends.
Top image photo: Kåre Larsson.