Norway has six riders in the top ten in the overall world cup on the men's side.
It is, of course, a concern for landslagschefen Rikard Grip. Even the norwegians are concerned.
" We beat them well, but we wish to have them up there we also, says världscupfemman Simen Hegstad Krüger.
the Swedish rider was in Ulricehamn, then ended the second after the frenchman Maurice Manificat.
Calle Halfvarsson, ten in the overall world cup title, abstained in the 15-kilometer race. Viktor Thorn was the best swede on the spot 23, he had six norwegians and five French rider before it in the result list.
– the Swedes are vulnerable, this season, it is just Calle that mixed in pallkampen. In addition to Calle, it is a bit thin on the distance, it's a bit better on the sprintsidan.
his first world cup victory as 23-year-old in 2017 and the year after, he made a success in the OLYMPIC games in Pyeongchang, when he took gold in the skiathlon, a distance he is demoted from the world CUP, and relay, and silver in the 15 km.
" It's very different how long it takes for a skater to get up on its top level. We have John Hösflot Kläbo and Russia has Alexander Bolsjunov that was very good early. But there are also examples of runners that it took some time before they reached the top
That so many others see Hegstad Krüger 22-year-old Victor Thorn as a Swedish hope.
– Victor Thorn can reach the top but it takes hard job. Sweden has had many good racers over the years and now would like to see new young runners took the chance. In Norway, there will all the time up the new name, we have a huge recruitment. It is being worked knallhårt at junior level in Norway, and there are extremely many young runners. Then there is always someone who wants to come up at the top and it is a contrast to Sweden, there are so many who are betting. Most we never hear about but there is always someone who comes up and fills in at the top.
would be poorly trained does not believe Hegstad Krüger.
" I don't know how they train and what they do so I can't comment on it. But I have gotten to me to the Swedish and Norwegian träningsfilosofin are quite similar to each other. But perhaps they should look at what the ladies make of which has a top, good width and it seems that there will be new runners all the time, so something to make Sweden the right.
a few years ago, there were many who were critical of the fact that it basically was just the norwegians and the swedes on the pallplatserna in herrloppen.
Now Russia is back and stealing podiums from Norway.
" It is important for längdskidåkningen that there are more nations up there at the top. It is not good for the sport if it's only norwegians and russians. It is important that we have the French, the canadians, swiss and swedes in the top, " says Hegstad Krüger.
to reckon with, in the 15-kilometer race in Ulricehamn came five frenchmen before hemmaåkaren Viktor Thorn. In the overall world cup title, there are eight frenchmen, but only two swedes among the 36 best.
Maurice Manificat, 32 years old, made his debut in the world cup 2008. At the time, France was not more than a newcomer.
"It was in the old days," says Manificat with a smile. Today, it is more difficult to take a place in the French team. I was strong but the competition was not nearly as tough as it is today. We took small steps, it took time but it paid off. And we kept our fighting spirit even in the weekends when it felt really heavy. We talk a lot about having fun and love to workout.
Manificat, who won the 15-kilometer race in Ulricehamn, has three OLYMPIC and two world CHAMPIONSHIP medals on his cv.
– We are French but we can win, it is important to show it. We have young people who want to up but it can take five years before they succeed. We usually say that if they want to be in the relay team so continue to work, it may take time but you can succeed. France is a large cykelland but small when it comes to cross-country skiing.
in skidcirkusen had tough competition of the Johan Olsson, Marcus Hellner, Anders Södergren, Daniel Rickardsson and Calle Halfvarsson.
– It is not the same Sweden that we've seen over the last few years. But it takes time to build a new team, the new is not yet ripe for the podium. It is a bad year, but I am convinced that you know how to train in order to arrive, one must keep the hope and träningsviljan to succeed.
As if it would be a comfort notes Manificat that Finland also has problems.
" They have Iivo Niskanen, but not much more. It is good for the sport that it is not only the Nordic countries at the top.
the Guide: the world Ski CHAMPIONSHIPS in Seefeld