TRYVANN (VG) Thomas Helland-Larsen distanced himself from, among others, world champion Hans Christer Holund (32) and won a 10.3-kilometer skates-ski race on Thursday afternoon.
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The race came into play and brought together various Norwegian cross-country profiles. Few expected Helland-Larsen to win, but the 23-year-old finished 16 seconds ahead of Holund.
– I’m very impressed with Thomas. It looked crude. He’s actually a sprinter, but this was a real ability race. It’s very surprising, Holund tells VG.
He himself thought it was great to go to his first competition since the World Cup final in March. Holund is not a gambling expert, but he still performed solidly.
A man to be reckoned with
But Helland-Larsen has the biggest reason to smile. He previously became a youth Olympic classic sprint champion during the games in Lillehammer, and on Thursday he performed opposite, among others, national team coach Eirik Myhr Nossum.
– It’s fun. It’s a good sign that I’ve done something right. Actually, this is something I’m very bad at. Haha. Where very bad in. He sounded very arrogant. But before he was very bad in races like this. Now I have made him a force, Helland-Larsen tells VG after the finish line at Tryvannstårnet.
Holund believes the 23-year-old from Sandvika may be a man to be reckoned with at the World Cup circus next season.
– I think it’s fun to see that an athlete you’ve really stepped up for has been serious for many years, trained and developed. Now it looks like it’s gone up a lot since last year, Holund says.
– What does this say about its potential?
– That says a lot. He has the potential to go to the World Cup regularly this season. I am absolutely sure. It’s not just the training that makes you win today, you also have to be talented. He’s lightning fast, a very good sprinter. With the stamina he shows now, not many will take him into the race if it’s part of a joint start.
Must take care
Helland-Larsen appreciates Holund’s faith in him.
– Listening is good. I feel like I have made steady progress. I feel like I’ve worked on my weaknesses, and then I think you take action firmly. I’ve gotten a little better every month, says the 23-year-old.
Now he has ambitions at the highest level for the next season, but he is aware that he must take care of himself.
– The World Cup is my goal. If everything goes well and I do things right now, that could be the result. But as I always think, I think I now have two months to screw it up. So I have to be very careful. It gets too fast that I get too anxious and train too much. That is what I have done before. So I have to be careful. I have faith, but I must sharpen myself, says Helland-Larsen.
After the race, Myhr Nossum approached him and stopped talking.
– Thomas performs very well. Glorious. He is a very good skier. It grows well in Norwegian cross-country skiing. It hasn’t been that long since it was relevant for both of them to go to the distance race at the World Cup at the same time as they did the sprint. Not many people do that.
– How do you assess your opportunities in the next season?
– What you are doing today is obviously a very high level above. Thomas has been young and promising for many years. He has been very close to practically going to the World Cup. There is no indication that he will only be considered this season. He is a runner who has endurance and speed. It is always exciting.
The rollerblade race was organized by the private team Team Ragde Charge. The start was in Årnes and the end was in Tryvannstårnet. Athletes such as Niklas Dyrhaug, Anders Aukland, Karstein Johaug, Tord Asle Gjerdalen and Gaute Kvåle also competed. Here’s what the top five looked like in the results list:
1. Thomas Helland-Larsen. Time: 32:43.
2. Hans Christer Holund. Time: 32:59.
3. Gaute Kvåle: Time: 33:04.
4: Mikael Gunnulfsen. Time: 33:19.
5: Karstein Johaug. Time: 33:19.
See the full list of results she.