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Team Nordic Experience Coste & Crédit Agricole Franche-Comté Expectations In Front Of Årefjällsloppet

After Thomas Joly’s great performance on Birken last weekend, Team Nordic Experience Pro Tour skiers want to be as good as they can for the longest race of Visma Ski Classics Season XII: Årefjällsloppet.

Photo: Magnus Östh/Visma Ski Classics

Team Nordic Experience skiers are ready for Årefjällsloppet 104km tomorrow.

ProXCskiing asked Maxime Grenard, Team Nordic Experience Pro Team Director and Coach about his expectations regarding the race.

“Årefjällsloppet is a feared and challenging race. The length is frightening and regarding the weather forecast, it will be even more difficult. But it’s a good course and a nice challenge. Everyone wants to do well to repeat the great performances of last weekend.”

“Regarding the course, I think that change could be beneficial for some of the skiers. Thomas for example. However, for others like Bastien, it could be the opposite, but you never really know how the body will react to an effort like this.”

“There are also some skiers who will not start at the 104km race. Théo Deswazière, who was ill last week will be starting in the Visma Ski Classics Challengers Årefjällsloppet 40km. Jennifer and Paul have bronchitis and the goal is to get well for the end of the season.”

ProXCskiing also talked to Bastien Poirrier, the Pro Team leader and veteran, who was 30th place last year.

Bastien, how was the training this week?

“I did some great ski sessions on the beginning of the week in order to recover from Birken and the traveling. Now I just calm down to being as fresh as I can for the race. I also try to eat well to regain my energy.”

Are you happy with the new course?

“I would prefer the original course because I liked the fact that there was only one loop instead of three. I also think that it will be a really tough race: it’s a longer race and I think mentally it will be more complicated, and even more with the weather.”

“I had enjoyed a lot the course last year, that was great for a first experience on this type of length, but it’s not the most suitable format for me.”

Bastien Poirrier in Birkebeinerrennet 2022

Kati Roivas, doing her first appearance on this race also shared her thoughts on how she has recovered from Birkebeinerrennet and what she expects from the new course.

“I had some little up and down for the recovery, it depends on the day. I don’t really have big expectation for this weekend because it’s a long race and I didn’t compete last year on this one, so I don’t know how my body will react.”

“Regarding the new course, I think it could be a good thing in the way that it will be easier for the feed but it’s still quite demanding. It will also be complicated to find the perfect skis because of the weather that’s always changing, so it’s another challenge for this weekend.”

And finally, Thomas Joly concludes, telling us about his expectations after a great Birken performance.

“I will try to do a solid race, but I think it will be so demanding. There are only a few parts that we can recover so it’s going to come down to wear and tear. I have never done this long before so it will be new for me, I’m diving into the unknown.”

“I’ll be happy with a top 25. I’ve recovered well from Birken, but I think we’re all a bit scared for this race, especially with the weather forecast.”

Alexis Jeannerod and Paul Combey before Årefjällsloppet 2021

Next up in the Visma Ski Classics is Årefjällsloppet. The 104-kilometer classic race takes place in Sweden on March 26, 2022.

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