By Teemu Virtanen
This is the second part of this weekend’s archive story (Weekend Classic) and we go back to the spring of 2017 when Magnar Dalen, Martin Holmstrand and Lars Ljung looked back on the longest Visma Ski Classics season in history and gazed eagerly upon the upcoming Season VIII.
Then, it is finally time to put the last season to rest and gaze upon new challenges that lay ahead, but how would the team directors look back on the longest season in history and what are they expecting from the winter of 2018.
“We had a very good season this winter,” Magnar acknowledges happily. “We had many great victories and a clear win in the overall team competition. We got both yellow and green jerseys, so there’s nothing to complain about there. Our goal for 2018 is to be the best team again, but we know that our opponents are also working hard, which means we are up for an exciting year again. As it was apparent last season, Ylläs-Levi is the perfect place to end a long season of skiing and we are looking forward to it again.”
Martin is on the same page with his colleague and says: “We had a great season and we keep the momentum going. We are in full work with the release of the team for this season. There will be some interesting changes and it is inspiring to increase the performance level of the team. We will a force to be reckoned with come 2018!”
Lars sounds as confident as Martin and Magnar when describing his team’s goal for the next winter.
“Last season was a good one for us! We are continuing to improve on basically all the areas both on the ski tracks but also outside of the tracks. Vasaloppet was the main goal last year and we managed to pull off a great performance that Sunday in March. We are looking to up the ante on all parts of the game in the upcoming winter. Racing stronger, smarter and even more together as a team. Aiming for the yellow, pink and green bibs in the end of the season.”
To finish this article and to give some food for though, Lars and Martin offer some great suggestions for bringing forth some new value to the brand and the sport itself.
“We like the fact that there are podium places in all different bib competitions and we like the fact that the team competition has the similar format as the rest of the categories,” Lars admits sincerely. “We think that generally speaking Visma Ski Classics has done a great job in listening to the feedback from us. In the future, the collaboration between the teams and the management of Visma Ski Classics can be even more improved so that we can build an even greater product together.”
Martin even gives a concrete example on how this cooperation between the teams and Visma Ski Classics could materialize.
“To spice things up a bit, there should more content and stories focusing on all kinds of things outside of the actual races. I think people want to know what happens behind the scenes. Maybe we should let our audience see how we work with our teams before races. I mean we could let them into our waxing buses and such to see what it really takes to be in Visma Ski Classics.”
Indeed, Martin is right on the money and that is certainly something we can look forward to when the new season kicks off in Pontresina, Switzerland, in November. That said, stay tuned for more stories and content on our social media sites!
And then back to the present time! In the middle of this month, you will be able to see what races are going to be part of Visma Ski Classics Season X, the 10th anniversary. It will certainly be the greatest season so far and don’t be surprised to see some of the World Cup skiers fighting tooth and nail against our superheroes at our events. Since 2020 is a year without any major games such as the World Championships or the Olympics, it will present a great opportunity for many to try their wings in Visma Ski Classics.