By Theresa Fugger
With each new season, Visma Ski Classics is becoming more and more international. Athletes from around the world join Pro Teams to compete in long-distance skiing events in Europe.
One of them is Australian Phil Bellingham who will continue competing for Skimarathon Team Austria with a focus on Visma Ski Classics Challengers.
29-year old Australian Phil Bellingham joined Visma Ski Classics in Season X for some events and confirmed now to continue his journey competing for Skimarathon Team Austria in the next season.
Originally a sprinter, Bellingham plans to focus more on long distances now.
“While many professional athletes fear that the race calendar in winter might be too full to appropriately regenerate between the events, a weekend without a race is hardly imaginable for the man down under”, says Peter Kiene, Pro Team director of Skimarathon Team Austria.
“I love to race as much as possible!” emphasizes Bellingham.
For a man whose favorite hobby is crocodile wrestling, the pain threshold is difficult to reach.
This year’s focus of the likeable Australian is mainly on the Central European Visma Ski Classics Challengers events and Vasaloppet China. In addition, to his ambitions in long-distance skiing, he looks forward to the qualifications for the world championships in Oberstdorf, Germany as he already competed in the Olympics in Pyeong Chang and world championships in Lahti and Seefeld.
His greatest successes in the past two years include the victory at the Arctic Circle Race in Greenland, second place in Nattvasan90, and victories in the Australia/New Zealand Cup.
For the summer season, Bellingham planned some starts at the roller ski world cup and at his home races Kangaroo Hoppet in Australia and the Merino Muster in New Zealand. However, as events are not confirmed and travelling is limited due to the continuing difficult situation around Covid-19, he currently trains in France where his girlfriend Iris Pessey lives.