The Long Distance Ski Championship


Written by: Teemy Virtanen
Photo: Magnus Östh 

The deadline for pro team registration is at hand. There are returning heroes, defeating champions and a lot of fresh talent in the mix making the upcoming season one of the most exciting in history.

Speaking of new blood, the land of high quality chocolate and world-class watches is now entering the game, which is no wonder since two races now hail from Switzerland; La Diagonela and Engadin Skimarathon. 

The Bündner Skiverband is the biggest regional team in the country, and they want to show that cocoa production and accurate time keeping are not the only things Switzerland shall be known for in the future. The newly formed BSV Pro Team Nordic is stepping into the Visma Ski Classics arena hoping to get some top 15 positions.

Without further ado, it is time to introduce the team and let the team director Markus Walser tell us what they aim to achieve when entering uncharted territory.

1. What prompted you to form the team and participate in Visma Ski Classics?

“During the past few years, we have put a lot of emphasis on junior athletes. But in the spring of 2018, we decided to shift our focus a bit and offer older athletes and skiers outside of the National team a chance to ski in some FIS races in our country. These people also need good and well-organized teams, and that’s where we come into play, and Visma Ski Classics fits our agenda perfectly.”

2. What are you expecting from your team?

“Our team is very young. For most of them, the main goal is to qualify for the U23 World Championships in the first half of the season. In the second half of the season, Visma Ski Classics becomes more important as we need to gain more experience. The same principle applies to our senior skiers as they also need to dip their toe in the water of long distance skiing.”

3. Who are your best candidates to do well next season? 

“The best candidates for success are Corsin Hösli and Fabio Lechner. Corsin has suffered from injuries in the past, but he is in shape now. Fabio’s background is in triathlon, but he now needs to transfer that power into skiing. Jogscha Abderhalden will be our strongest lady. She needs some time to recover from a leg injury, but I’m confident that she’ll be ready when the winter comes.”

4. What do two Swiss Visma Ski Classics races mean to Switzerland?

“I think they have a positive affect on our skiing. I’m also happy to see that both races take place in our region. Nordic skiing is very small in our country, but these two races can motivate our people to pick up their skis and join the fun.”

5. How would you analyze VSC as you are stepping into the field with fresh eyes?

“It seems that Visma Ski Classics is a very professional long distance ski cup offering wonderful opportunities for skiers outside of World Cup. In our country and in many others as well, the tour gives a chance for many athletes to pursue a professional career in skiing. We are happy to be part of it!”