ProXCskiing talked to Norway’s skier, who was feeling great for his first-ever Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour event victory.
In a superb sprint to victory in front of Stian Hoelgaard, Team Curira, and Mikael Gunnulfsen, Team Koteng Eidissen, Kasper Stadaas felt great for his first victory at Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour. After arriving in Livigno, where Team Ragde Charge will spend the week before Marcialonga, Kasper Stadaas told ProXCskiing how he felt after his accomplishment.
“I am feeling pretty good. To win at this stage with so many good skiers on the start line is just amazing,” says Kasper.
Despite his first season as a long-distance skier, Stadaas has been an elite traditional cross-country skier for a long time, with some victories and podiums under his belt. Like many other Norwegian athletes, spending time outdoors made him fall in love with skiing and become a top athlete.
“The best memories I have of cross-country skiing are spending long days skiing in Nordmarka (Oslo) with my friends. Many of them are former athletes, and others are still competing at a high level,” says Kasper, while describing the beauty of a skiing day,“ just enjoying a good banter, beautiful tracks, and a cinnamon bun at one of the cabins far in the woods.”
From Traditional to Long-Distance Skiing
Before becoming a long-distance skier with Team Ragde Charge, Kasper Stadaas focused on traditional cross-country skiing. The change in his career made him train differently, going from several training sessions every day to one long session per day, which made his life more stress-free.
“The number of training hours surely changed a lot. Before, I trained several times a day, with shorter sessions. Now I can be out skiing for 3-6 hours in a single session. My life has also been more predictable now, without the stress of being selected for World Cup races. Now I know which events I will race, and I can prepare accordingly. I would say that now it is a sweeter life,” shares Kasper.
During his career as a traditional skier, Kasper was a strong sprinter. Now that he has devoted himself to long-distance skiing, Kasper believes that the characteristics that made him a strong sprinter are the same that make him a solid long-distance skier.
“I really enjoyed sprinting, but I have now grown to love long-distance racing. My strengths are the same, both for traditional and long-distance skiing – speed, power, and the love for tactics. I am not yet fully trained for the long uphills and the long and hard races of some of the events in the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour. I believe it will take some years to develop this capacity.”
But Kasper Stadaas is also confident that he will improve his stamina to face these kinds of challenges, especially with Team Ragde Charge, who made him feel welcomed since the first day.
“Aukland brothers have an endless amount of experience, but also the immense knowledge of the rest of the team is possessing. I have learned so much about what works in long-distance racing in such a short time. Team Ragde Charge welcomed me and shared their knowledge and tips with me since the first day,” says Kasper, while also telling ProXCskiing that he will fight for the podium in every upcoming race.
“I know there will be good and bad days, but if I give my best, I am sure I will succeed sometimes,” concludes Kasper Stadaas.
Next up in the Visma Ski Classics is Marcialonga. The 70-kilometer classic long-distance race takes place in Trentino, Italy, on January 30, 2022.
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