By Teemu Virtanen
There are always some pro teams who step aside after each season for different reasons. One of the most notable retirees is Team Tynell, the family squad that was built around two brothers. Right now, it seems appropriate to quote the famous TV talk show host David Letterman when he signed off from his 33-year post as the “Late Night Show” host in 2015: “That’s pretty much all I got. The only thing I have left to do, for the last time... is to say thank you, and good night.”
The team can be thankful for many things, but we are even more grateful for all the contributions that Daniel, his brother Richard, Jerry Ahrlin, Laila Kveli and Jens Eriksson have given to Visma Ski Classics and the sport. They will surely be missed.
The three-time Vasaloppet winner Daniel, who had to retire himself in 2015 due to heart problems, sounds a bit teary-eyed when recalling all the glory days and some challenges along the way.
“I felt that Team Tynell could not have been the same anymore as my brother didn’t want to push that hard after this season. It has always been about heart, passion and above all family, with our mum and dad joining us in all races and living in the trailer for a month during the Alp tour. So, we decided to conclude our 14-year long journey that started in 2005. So, it is with great thankfulness, pride and of course a bit of sadness we've taken the team across the last finish line.”
Team Tynell has indeed been very successful over the years as they have achieved great results in Visma Ski Classics and elsewhere by winning number one trophies in Vasaloppet, 5 in total, König Ludwig Lauf, 4 in total, and Marcialonga, 3 in total. We also remember how Rikard broke away in the first La Diagonela in 2015 and won the race. Besides his Vasaloppet victories, Daniel has three 2nd places in the greatest ski race of the world and several podium places in many other respected ski races such as Marcialonga, König Ludwig Lauf, Tartu Maraton, Birkebeinerrennet and Engadin Skimarathon.
The team has packed their gear and withdrawn from active racing, but there is still much to do for all of them, and particularly for Daniel, who is involved in the roller-skiing initiative, Guide World Classic Tour, and the longest and most challenging ski race in the world, Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet. Daniel oozes enthusiasm when talking about his future endeavors.
“It’s been a great ride, but I’m excited now as new doors will open! At the moment, I’m looking forward to an exiting summer season with Guide World Classic Tour, which will be really interesting this year with Blink Classic, Alliansloppet and Toppidrettsveka. The biggest events we have. And the double poling uphill race in Lysebotn during Blink Festival will be amazing! And of course, I’m happy to see how Nordenskiöldsloppet has grown in a few years since its inception, and I’m optimistic about its future. So, I’ll stay active in the field as cross-country skiing is still my passion.”
So, we may not see Team Tynell and their grand service truck in any of the Visma Ski Classics events, but we will certainly see Daniel and his team members around. Once you have given your heart to skiing, it keeps beating until the last breath. Therefore, there is no need for final thank-yous and good nights because there will be many more great days ahead for Daniel and his merry soldiers.