ANDI KATZ WITHOUT ANY TOUR PRESSURE – AND HAPPY ENDING IN ITALY
In a season without a major event the Tour de Ski is one of the big highlights of the winter. For the tenth time the stage race took place over the scope of 106 kilometers. Eight events in four different cross country destinations within ten days highlighted what makes that discipline so special. Like for example the inspiring story of German cross country-skier Andi Katz...
End of last season Andi Katz was faced with an existential question: giving up or powering up? Andi, the „Racecat“ decided to give it another shot and started to organize the training himself. He also changed to the Redster-equipment of Atomic and now delivered one of the feelgood stories of this year’s Tour de Ski. Despite released from all squads Andreas (nickname: „Racecat“) didn’t give in. „Cross country is my life“, he kept saying. Andi started to organize a training-camp at his own charge and in April he also changed to Atomic equipment. „That was an important step for my performance – and my confidence“, said Katz.
All the setbacks, injuries, missed qualifications and the axe from all squads made Andi somehow much more composed. „I travel to the Tour de Ski without any pressure“, he said right before the kickoff in Lenzerheide where he immediately caused some stir with his 17th place finish in the 30 kilometer classic event. In Oberstdorf and Toblach he continued with strong performances. After the final act in Val die Fiemme the Redster athlete could celebrate a 16th place in the final ranking. „I’m completely done, but really happy“, Katz smiled.
Two other Atomic Nordic-team members were able to run into the Top 30 of the Tour de Ski. Jonas Baumann from Switzerland finished in 20th place. Italian Giandomenico Salvadori (ITA) settled for 27th place providing plenty of motivation for the upcoming World Cup events.
SKI CLASSICS: STRONG SHOWING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC BY TORD, BILL, ANDERS & OSKAR
The Long Distance-Stars in the Atomic Nordic Team started at the 50-Kilometer-race in Jizerská Padesátka (Czech Republic). It was the third of ten events in the Ski Classics Series. They seem to hit form at the right time in the run-up to the classic events. Tord Asle Gjerdalen crossed the finish line in 6th place, followed by the young hopefuls Anders Høst (7th) and Bill Impola (11th); the three-time Wasalauf-champion Oskar Svärd finished in 19th place. The next Tour-stop will be the „La Diagonela“ event in St. Moritz / Switzerland on the 23rd of January.