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Germany coach is happy

Tour de Ski

Mon, Dec  29, 2008 - By FIS

Germany took a double victory in Stage One and delivered a strong team performance. National Coach Jochen Behle is satisfied.

Did you expect this type of performance at the start of the Tour?

I did hope for such results from Axel Teichmann. He is a smart athlete and if he says he is concentrating on Oberhof then we can expect a top level performance from him, if for nothing else because Axel has enormous potential.

Claudia Nystad's Stage One victory was a real sensation but that is what makes it that much more pleasing. And as far as Tobi Angerer goes, we did not expect him to get going so well on the Tour right after his illness.

Has your team now become Tour favorites?

Well, that depends on how you define a favorite. I said before the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski that Axel Teichmann has a chance, along with another 20 racers. On the ladies' side, nothing has changed. I still think that Saarinen, Kuitunen and Bjoergen are the strongest ladies in the field especially because there are so many classical technique distance races this year. And in Stage Two that already rang true. But the Tour is only getting started. It remains that you do not have to win six times but you cannot have a single really bad day either. One classical day with bad waxing and you are finished. On Sunday we did get a lesson with Claudia in this respect. In the uphill she was slipping bad and there is nothing you can do then.

You criticized last year that the Tour de Ski became a Tour de Czech, with Nove Mesto - Prague - Nove Mesto, or five of the eight Stages. Do you like the choice of Tour venues better this year?

Let's be honest. The start of the premiere in 2006 at the empty Olympic Stadium in Munich was not great either. But I do not want to launch another discussion on last year's issues. The point is: Oberhof is the right choice - the ambience and organization are great and we have a lot of spectators.

Source: Viessmann Media Service