By Johan Trygg
There were close fights for the victory in the Visma Alp Trophy tour in both the men's and the women's class where, in the end, the same winners as in the Hertz Champion Competition took the trophies; Andreas Nygaard, Team Ragde Eiendom, and Britta Johansson Norgren, Lager 157 Ski Team. The Visma Alp Trophy consisted of six competitions in the Alps: Livigno Prologue, La Venosta, Kaiser Maximilian Lauf, La Diagonela, Marcialonga, and Toblach-Cortina.
We asked the winners, Andreas Nygaard and Britta Johansson Norgren, what they think about having two competitions inside Visma Ski Classics.
“I think it's very good. It’s an extra boost and motivator during the season,” says Nygaard.
“It's good in several ways. Partly if you are sick at the beginning or at end of the season, there is still something to fight for. I think we should talk more about the Visma Alp Trophy and Visma Nordic Trophy in the upcoming seasons,” says Johansson Norgren and continues;
“For me, it was an extra motivator this winter. After I finished 4th at La Diagonela and 6th at Marcialonga, I started to figure out what I needed to do at Toblach-Cortina.”
As we know, Britta won Toblach-Cortina and became the winner of Visma Alp Trophy. Britta finished with 975 points and was followed by Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes, Team Koteng, with 945 and Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Koteng at 904.
On the men's side, Nygaard won with 790 points followed by his teammate Tord Asle Gjerdalen with 745 and third was Stian Hoelgaard, Team Koteng, with 710.
The fact that the season ended abruptly because of COVID-19 has made it hard for Andreas Nygaard to find motivation in training.
“It is a special situation now and it is important to keep the wheels turning. But I have a hard time with motivation, and the weather is not so good up here in Tromsø (above the arctic circle). But we will have snow here for another couple of months. I take a small break now instead of later and start the training on April 1 instead of the normal way, on May 1,” says Nygaard.
Andreas also has some thoughts on a few changes in his training for next winter. Partly because he will study full-time this fall as he is undertaking the fourth year of his medical studies.
"Maybe I will focus more on some individual races and not on the yellow bib," the Norwegian considers.
Britta is also affected by the fact that the season ended after Vasaloppet.
“It is a very special situation. Of course, I fully support the decision to cancel the last three races, but since my big goal this season was precisely these three races, it feels hard. I have never won neither Birkenbeinerrennet, Reistadløpet or Ylläs-Levi. I've been training all year to show that I could win those races as well. When they were canceled, I felt such emptiness," Norgren says.
That the season ended so unexpectedly is now a big reason why Britta is going to compete for another winter. Otherwise, Season X could have been the last for the Swede who will be 37 years old on March 30. She has 21 victories in Visma Ski Classcis so far.
“I don't want it to end like this. I also feel that there are still things to develop for next winter,” Britta says.