Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Feed Zone

Watching the Olympic races, I marveled at the team support: feeds, pole replacement, the ski exchanges in the 30k and 50k. I've never seen a good article describing how a team - even a smallish one like the U.S. or Canadian ones - gets organized to support its racers (only you can help us, Nat Herz!), but this piece on about the team supporting the Aukland brothers at the Vasaloppet is pretty interesting:
Nothing is left to chance when Team Xtra personnel are at work. 21 men, three runners and one flows. All with the common goal-to Anders and Jorgen Aukland and Jerry Ahrlin to do the best. "Team-work is the key to success and long races, it is more and more important with a good support system," said sports director Nils Marius Otterstad.
The article claims that the Vasaloppet skier Daniel Tynell had 60 people supporting him when he won the race last year. 60 people seems incredible until you watch some of the race video and see how frequently the top guys are taking feeds - every few k, right up until inside the last 5k.

I dunno if the FIS will ban race radios, though.