Team Nordic Jobs Worldwide – Pro Team Presentation Season XIV
This Estonian Pro Team counts on local power, as only Estonian skiers are in its ranks. There were Finns and Swedes on the team in the past, but locality is the name of the game this year. The team captain Mart Kevin Põlluste wants to promote long-distance skiing in Estonia and find new talent to make his country great again in Nordic skiing.
Speaking of the leader of the gang, Põlluste finished twelve Pro Tour stages last season and finished in the top 60 in every race, except La Venosta Time Trial, 75th, Vasaloppet, 86th, and Individual Prologue, 73rd. His best result came from Årefjällsloppet, where he was the 34th best skier. He had a good even season throughout.
According to the FIS site, Mattis Jaama has not actively raced since 2016, but the upcoming season offers this 30-year-old skier a chance to change the situation. On the other hand, Henri Roos is the National Champion in the 15 km classic race and represented his country at the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. He also took part in many World Cup races and in five Pro Tour events, of which Årefjällsloppet’s 32nd place was his best result.
Uku Leipalu, 20, is a rising star who has raced on rollerskis this summer. At the Otepää Rollerskiing World Cup this August, he finished 29th and 32nd in the 29 km mass start skating race and the 15 km classic race, respectively. In 2021, he finished 7th at Tartu Maraton when his teammates Mart Kevin Polluste won, and Henri Roos was second.
Olle Ilmar Jaama is the youngest team member, 18, and he is still unexperienced in long-distance skiing. Still, he has raced at the junior level, including the European Youth Olympic Festival, and finished 13th in the 10 km skating race at the Nationals last season.
Alvar Johannes Alev is another Olympic athlete on the team, and he managed to be close to the top 30 in some races in China (among the best 36 skiers in three races). He also participated in some Norwegian National Championships races and finished 8th in the 50 km skating race.
Taavi Lehemaa raced three times on the Pro Tour last season: 120th at the Individual Prologue, 75th at Tartu Maraton, and 105th at Ylläs-Levi. Merilin Jürisaar was 27th at Tartu Maraton last winter, while her teammate Katlin Kukk finished 15th in the 10 km classic race at the Nationals. Both female skiers are still very young and have time to get more experience.
This Pro Team has a couple of skiers with some World Cup and Olympic experience, and the team captain is an enthusiastic long-distance skier. There is a chance for these skiers to get some valuable points in some Pro Tour races, particularly towards the end of the season after the World Championships. The female athletes need to go the distance with long-distance skiing in order to grow and learn the game, and maybe someday they will be ready to fight for top positions in Ski Classics.