Team Building is also required in cross country skiing. Thanks to perfect teamwork Tore Berdal won the Vasaloppet 2019 edition last Sunday. Basically he and his team mates let themselves draft in the pack up to km 85. Then they overtook in a train formation and 4 Koteng skiiers slowed down the field, while Berdal went ahead and took the lead until the finish line.
This shows that even in a sport of inidviduals the team is stronger.
The close TV-observer of the Swedish livestream could however also notice that the winner Berdal on the track to victory did some skating steps at several occasions, which according to the Vasaloppet rules should lead to disqualification. (race time 4:28:08, 4:30:31, 4:33:14),
Tore Berdal and his followers became tired on the last 5 k to the finish line at Vasaloppet 2019. However only Berdal is seen with excessive skating moves. Obviously the track was not perfect, but it was there. According to the FIS rules to which Vasaloppet adheres the skier must stay in the track. Berdal´s followers stayed in the track, Berdal however moved sidewards quite often. He got away with it winning Vasaloppet 2019. What about fairness? What about the future of classic skiing, if excessive skating moves are tolerated? These video excerpts originate from the Vasaloppet 2019 livestream of Swedish Television SVT. The clips show Berdal on his last 5 K to the finish line. How he skated the 85 K before is not visible as he stayed in the pack of skiers.
And here the Vasaloppet disqualifcation rules about skating in this classic race referring to the FIS-rules.
The FIS rules were established because more and more athletes are racing classic races without wax exclusively double-poling. Once they become tired, some begin to skate. To play fair and to keep classic technique alive FIS defined what is ok and what’s not. These rules define how much skating is allowed in a classic race. Not very much: “If there are tracks and if the track is turning… the athlete must stay within the track and not use a turning technique. If there is no track, it is fine to turn with one foot as the other one moves around the corner.”