It has been a long January with many races for the Team United Bakeries (TUB) skiers and crew. The last of these was the König Ludwig Lauf. This year there were a great deal of snow, which is uncommon in Oberammergau. Oberammergau is located about 1½ hours south of Munich Airport, in the beautiful Bayer area. The race this year was one lap of 46 km. Neither Masako Ishida nor Niklas Dyrhaug participated as they were at the National Championships in Røros in preparation for the World Championships in Falun. Masako will be representing Japan in the World Championships after her splendid performance in Røros (3rd and 12th place). Great to see that Masako now seems stronger than ever! Niklas had a fantastic result with 3rd place in the 30 km skiathlon and we are thrilled to confirm that our very own TUB member will be skiing for Norway in the World Championships!
The crew came down to Oberammergau on Friday, whilst the skiers had already been at a gathering in Seefeld. We all were ready to give everything to get a nice ending to January and a good start in February. Øystein was doing well in both sprint and overall. Tore Johan Kristian and Øystein were in absolute agreement that we had to go hard from the start and surprise the other teams. There were two sprints: at 9 km and 33 km. We knew that there would be a lot of fighting for points for the first sprint. Sprint scores count in both sprint and team competition. It is very important for our guys that TUB win in the team competitions. Sadly, though, John Kristian Dahl had to throw in towel on Sunday. He had a sore throat on Saturday which we all hoped would improve, but as he was feeling rougher on Sunday morning, we decided not to take any chances. This meant only two runners at the start of the competition.
Øystein and Tore chose to maintain their strategy. Both were way ahead of the first sprint. Øystein won 40 points and Tore 10 points. Excellent opening. The plan now was to maintain a steady pace amongst the field and then full throttle at the next sprint. But all of a sudden it started to snow heavily. When it snows, being in front is always harder and it is easier to ski behind others. So coming up to 33 km, there were far more skiers grouped together. Once again, great effort form our guys. Øystein won 20 points and Tore 5 points. König Ludwig Lauf is a flat race, which is beneficial to Øystein and Tore, and for a while, things looked very bright for both of them. With just 6 km left, however, Øystein started to fall back. Tore worked hard and kept his position in the main field. Øystein was unable to pick up the pace and had to rely on Tore. Tore’s efforts secured him his first ever podium-place in Skiclassics. Fantastic to see Tore – who has been part of the Skigo and UB teams all these years – finally breakthrough. We are all thrilled for him!
(foto: Magnus Ôst/Skiclassics)
In about one month it’s Vasaloppet. Last year we came in first. What’ll we do this year?!
From the TUB gang–