Heidi Weng won both the Tour de Ski and the World Cup combined in both 2016/17 and 2017/18.
Last winter, the 29-year-old from Ytre Enebakk fought back after the tough 2018/19 season by taking 2nd place in the World Cup overall after the superb Therese Johaug.
Now she is strongly considering dropping the Tour de Ski, which has been Weng’s playground for many years.
– I want to stand over the Tour de Ski. That was the plan in the first place. Then you never know what the season will be like considering the corona situation. Maybe there will be very few ski runs because the coronavirus flares up. In that case, you should perhaps go the ski runs you can go, says Heidi Weng to Dagbladet.
– But if most indications are that it will be a normal season, is it tempting to drop the Tour de Ski for the first time?
– Yes. I’m eager to make some changes this season. I have done the same thing all year and gone on the Tour de Ski nine to ten times in a row. If my body gets tired during the Tour de Ski and I go there, I am at least not so keen on taking it all out, says the cross-country skier.
Tour de Ski Queen
In the debut tour in 2011/12, Weng never reached the finish line, but after that she has an absolutely fabulous series of results in the Tour de Ski.
Weng finished 6th in the Tour de Ski overall in 2012/13. It was improved to 3rd place overall the following year. Secondly, there was a new 3rd place overall in both 2014/15 and 2015/16.
The following year, Heidi Weng went all the way to the top and won the Tour de Ski overall. She followed up that feat the following season with a new Tour de Ski triumph in 2017/18.
In the difficult 2018/19 season, she finished 7th overall, while she was No. 4 overall last year in the tour.
Will make changes
This winter she is open to drop the Tour de Ski, if it is necessary to get the top level in the WC in Oberstdorf.
– The World Cup is most important. At the same time, it is fun to go cross-country skiing. When you train so much, it’s boring not to go skiing. But it’s been a while since I’ve reached my maximum level in a championship, Weng admits.
Therefore, she is open to change.
– It would have been fun to try something new and be at the height before the championship, if possible. Mostly I have been the best after Christmas. In recent years it has varied more, and I have not been in the top team in the last championships.
At the same time, Weng points out that if there are few ski runs that can be completed for the winter, she will go what she can. Therefore, the new plan to be more cynical in which races she will go, can be put on ice, depending on how the racing season and the corona situation is.
Advice to Østberg
Teammate Ingvild Flugstad Østberg risks losing the entire season due to fatigue fractures. Weng knows what it’s like to face adversity, especially in the period from the Olympics in Pyeongchang to the World Cup in Seefeld.
– What advice do you have to give to Ingvild?
– I was on the rim then. The body did not work. I find it difficult even to know what to do myself. For my part, I had to start again. You have to take the time it takes. That’s my advice. I had to rest and invent other things and therefore went to a warmer area. It did good for me, Weng tells Dagbladet.
– What did you learn from that situation?
– I feel I am good at listening to the body. I have become better at avoiding that it can be a little too much and too many hard sessions. I have probably become more careful – and am perhaps a little too good at recognizing.
Weng says that she runs fewer hard sessions now than before.
– I do things a little differently and am afraid that things can get too tough. For example, I have not trained so much sprint. There are slightly fewer sprint sessions than before, she admits.
– How is your form now compared to the same time in previous seasons?
– My form now is better than two years ago at least. It’s a bit the same as last year in a way. But I have had even more good days this year than last year.
– The training is much the same, except that I have cycled more this year. That’s really the only difference.
The 29-year-old from Ytre Enebakk has more specifically trained 20 hours of cycling for several months and has been saved from cycling during the last six months.
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