After spending several seasons with Team Koteng Eidissen, Torleif Syrstad has moved to another Pro Team – Lager 157 Ski Team. The change has brought new motivation to the Norwegian athlete.
Torleif Syrstad is one of the most experienced long-distance skiers competing at Ski Classics, despite still having a long career ahead of him. The 28-year-old Norwegian debuted at Ski Classics in 2016, starting his career with an impressive 13th position at Vasaloppet. After that, Torleif Syrstad continued his full-time long-distance skiing career with Team Koteng Eidissen.
With the support of his team, Torleif developed his skills and managed to conquer great results like two podiums at Vasaloppet, 8th position at Jizerská50 and Marcialonga, and being a regular top 20 finisher.
Now, after spending six seasons with Team Koteng Eidissen, Torleif Syrstad is moving to Lager 157 Ski Team. This change is bringing new motivation and goals.
What were the best and worst moments last season?
“My worst moment last season was when we all (Team Koteng Eidissen) got Ccovid in January right after the races in Toblach. Being in isolation in Switzerland and seeing the rest of the races in January from the sideline was tough. And then, three weeks of struggling with side effects from Covid in the middle of the season was my personal toughest moment last season. The best moment was when I signed for Lager 157 Ski Team during the silly season. That really took some weight away from my shoulders.”
Speaking of Lager 157 Ski Team, how do you think this change will help your development as a long-distance skier? And what was the best part of being a member of Team Koteng Eidissen?
“Changing team has given me several new things; persons to learn from, people to get to know and make friendships with, and some fresh and new motivation. The best with Team Koteng Eidissen was that you got to know some good people, and I made some good friends during my time on the team.”
How is summer training going so far? What have you been doing, and will we see you racing any summer events?
“It has been going great until now. The last week I’ve been struggling a little bit with an underperforming body, but now I think I’ve discovered the problem, and I think I’m soon capable of doing weeks with a good training load again. I’m happy I’ve done some great training until now because that makes you relax a little more during this period. This summer, I’ve just focused on enjoying my holiday mode. That means spending time with best friends, doing a good load of quality training, and stressing as little as possible so I can charge up the battery mentally before the new season.”
What are your goals for next season?
“My main goal is to win Vasaloppet, but I also have secondary goals such as doing a podium result in another race and stabilizing my result in the top of the Ski Classics races.”
Vasaloppet has been your best performance, managing to reach the podium twice. What does this race mean to you?
“It’s the biggest race during the season, so it means a lot to me. The race is in my thoughts in almost every training session, so I spend a lot of time thinking about this race during the year. Yes, of course, I hope to win Vasaloppet!”
Having a chat with Torleif has been a pleasure for us. We got to learn how important Vasaloppet is for him – something that we could see by his results – and that, despite being an elite skier, Torleif finds motivation when he gives his body and mind the chance to rest.
Especially after suffering from Covid-19, Torleif needed a new motivation for his long-distance skiing career, and Lager 157 may help him achieve his goal – winning Vasaloppet.
Photo: Crelle Photography