DEC 02, 2019
In terms of benchmarking, this winter’s first race weekend turned out very satisfactory for the Atomic Nordic team. Particularly noteworthy: at the World Cup opening in Ruka (FIN) Tiril Udnes Weng demonstrated not only her well-known sprint strength (6th place) but also showed a strong upward trend in distance racing. Tiril finished 7th in the 10k pursuit race, while the Atomic ladies Anne Kjersti Kalvaa and Victoria Carl also made a good first impression early in the season with strong times in the pursuit. Additionally, the Redster Nordic Combined power team delivered eight top ten results in three competitions.
“I am not fully in shape yet,“ Tiril Udnes Weng had said after the FIS races in Beitostoelen (NOR) – just a week ago. The first World Cup weekend in Ruka with all world-class athletes present did not quite confirm this statement. Her 6th place in the sprint was already a familiarly strong result; in the 10k classic race she finished 22nd, while reaching a notable 7th place in the final 10k pursuit race. A clear sign that ”she has gotten stronger over the longer distances,“ says her Atomic Nordic manager Peter Landl. “Looking at her recent training intensity, for the races to come we still expect an increase in performance.”
SIMEN SICK AS 29TH, EVGENIJ WILL START LATER
Redster Nordic star Simen Hegstad Krueger’s 29th place in the 15k classic race in Ruka should be taken in context: the double Olympic champion and silver medalist in Pyeongchang competed with an infection and had to skip the pursuit. The other top athlete in Atomic’s cross-country team, Russian Evgenij Belov, will start his season in Lillehammer, “and we hope that by then Simen Hegstad Krueger will have fully recovered for his home race too,“ says Peter Landl.
COMBINED TEAM WITH EIGHT TOP TEN RESULTS
Atomic’s “Nordic Four“ Combined athletes – Germans Fabian Rießle and Manuel Faißt together with Austrians Franz-Josef Rehrl and Lukas Greiderer – delivered a very solid performance at the Nordic Combined opening weekend in Ruka. All in good shape, these Atomic athletes achieved seven top ten rankings in three races, with Redster youngster Thomas Jöbstl adding another top ten result – thanks to his strong 8th place in the second race.
“You’ll now have to count him in for top results. And Ruka was a great start of the season for his teammates, too. They’re all on top in terms of skiing, and so is their material. ”