JAN 07, 2020
Simen Hegstad Krueger’s latest Tour de Ski was anything but “easy-peasy”. Despite his recent 15k victory in Davos, things did not go according to plan in his favorite discipline, the 15k – neither in Toblach nor in Val di Fiemme. But a true champ never gives up: Krueger triumphed in the last race of the Tour with an impressive finish on the legendary final climb towards Alpe Cermis, earning him a 5th place in the overall Tour de Ski ranking.
“Rhythm is the Tour de Ski’s most decisive factor,“ Nordic Race Manager Peter Landl explains. “One bad day and you’ll drag that along, because there’s no time for regeneration, with seven stages in nine days.“ Simen Hegstad Krueger had two bad days: in the 15k freestyle race in Toblach he finished 22nd, and his 23rd place in the 15k race of Val di Fiemme was also disappointing. But finally, it was the Tour’s last race, the 10k mass start, that marked the turning point: Simen triumphed in the infamous final climb towards Alpe Cermis, leaping to a respectable 5th place in the overall ranking.
“Being able to strike back after defeats is what makes a true champion. Simen skied a tremendous race, it’s way harder to open a gap in a mass start race.”
Krueger’s victory wasn’t the only highlight for Atomic’s Redster Nordic Unit: World Cup rookie Hugo Lapalu again demonstrated his talent with a strong 10th place. And the two young Norwegians Tiril Udnes Weng und Anne Kjersti Kalvaa achieved good results in the long distance competitions, proving they’ve made a huge step forward compared to last year.