The Fischer Racing Team has cut it's budget for the 2008-2009 racing season. Last year, the Fischer Racing Team won three overall World Cup titles plus five victories in the World Cup, it's athletes making their way to the podium 194 times. They als0 won 31 medals at the Biathlon and Ski Flying World Championships. Additionally Fischer led the field by a large margin in all categories in the FIS cross country brand statistics.
According to Gerhard Urain, Nordic Race Director for Fischer,
"We have raised the bar accordingly for the upcoming season. It will not be easy to repeat these successes. The lack of snow in the past two winters has also left its mark on our company, which remains under family ownership. Budgets have had to be cut by around 20 to 25% for the current fiscal year. However, thanks to some prominent new signings, we will again be fielding a strong team in the upcoming season."
Strong Women's Team
Fischer's women's team this year includes Tour de Ski winner Charlotte Kalla (SWE, Fischer), Astrid Jacobsen (NOR, Fischer), who placed second in the Overall and Sprint World Cup 07l08, and Therese Johaug (NOR, Fischer). Pirjo Muranen (FIN, Fischer skis and boots) has set herself some ambitious target, Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer), has gone back to our equipment after a two-year spell "in foreign waters".
With Lukas Bauer (CZE, Fischer), winner of the Overall World Cup and Tour de Ski 07l08, returns for the 2008/2009 season. Milan Sperl (CZE, Fischer skis and poles) now skis for Fischer as well. Says Urain, "We can hope that with a little luck they will form a strong Fischer-only Czech relay team for the World Championships on what is for them home ground."
Anders Glörsen (NOR, Fischer) is another prominent new signing for Fischer. The two-times Sprint World Cup winner of last season will be making our Cross Country team even stronger in the future, along with Norwegian Martin J. Sundby (NOR, Fischer) and Sweden's Marcus Hellner (Fischer).
Magdalena Neuner (GER, Fischer skis and boots) is the top women biathlete for Fischer this year, skiing on the Fischer skis and boots. The Biathlon squad includes Russia's Tatiana Moiseeva (RUS, Fischer skis and boots) and, back on the team, Sylvie Becaert (Fischer skis and boots) of France. Tora Berger (NOR) will be the first woman to use Fischer's complete package (skis, boots and poles).
Men's Biathlon need improvement
Urain admits to weakness on the men's biathlon team. "There is clearly room for improvement for us in the men's Biathlon. Our solution here is to adopt the formula for success from Cross Country. Highly experienced national service men strike up partnerships with young athletes early on and accompany them on their way to becoming world's best. These promising structures are now also being stepped up for Biathlon in the individual countries."