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Thomas Alsgaard to Drive Formula 1

by Klaus Eriksen
Translation by Brian Olsen
July 17, 2001

To avoid last seasons numerous problems, Thomas Alsgaard will have six days of rather interesting training. On one of these days he will drive a Formula 1 racecar in the French town of Nice.

EXCITED: Thomas Alsgaard is well-known to be fast on skis. Now he will have the opportunity to test the all-time fastest car as well. Thursday he will set himself in the driver's seat of a Formula 1 racecar. (Photo: Helge Mikalsen, VG)

After one season in which much was not accomplished for the Norwegian ski star, he has reaffirmed his craving for training this summer He has said "no thanks" to almost all non skiing activities, except two: Formula 1 racecar driving outside the French town of Nice this coming Thursday (July 19) and five days of rally racing later this summer.

In Support of Driving

That's it. The rest of the summer he will train, eat, train once more, rest, eat again, and finally, sleep. A lot to be accomplished in a day.

"Yes, I will be driving Formula 1," says Thomas in response to a call from VG, a Norwegian daily newspaper.

"That's it. I will drive, and then enough with that. Done. It won't have any influence on my training because I will train two workouts the day before driving, and two workouts the day I drive," says Alsgaard.

Alsgaard is happy and also relieved that the Swedish cross country skier Mathias Fredriksson will also be accompanying him on Thursday's drive. More on that, he will not say.

Alsgaard is sorry for often focusing on things other than skiing and training.

"It gives me a bad image. Training every day is important, but driving also has it's rewards for the season. There will be a focus."

Self-Discipline

He is also a bit disappointed in himself after last year's unlucky season. At World Championships in Lahti, the Norwegian team in which he competed for, won the relay, but without this accomplishment, the season was not very worthy of reciting. This summer's progress is he, however, more than willing to talk about.

"I have been very strict with my training this summer. I have said no to ninety-nine percent of the distracting activities that have been offered to me," he comments.

That is not the Thomas we knew last summer, where he could be found fishing, hunting, traveling, and driving for fun. The problems he had early last season could very well have found their causes in his early season distractions.

In Beitostølen, for the World Cup Opening, Thomas finished second in the 15 km classic race. At that time his body felt tired, but he could not understand why. "But then, it was already too late," Thomas says. Things were not going well, though. Now, however, he feels like he is on the right track.

Goal: Olympic Gold

"It is not productive to keep thinking of the previous year. I am much tougher with my priorities now," he says..

His training sessions vary in time from thirty minutes to four to five hours. A cornucopia of activities is also found, when reviewing his training. It varies from rollerskiing to cycling, kayaking to strength work. In all of his actions, however, one finds a weave of his ultimate goal for next February:

"I have the goal of winning an individual gold medal. I think that I am on the right track to win one of the distances, but at this point, I am not sure which one," Thomas finishes.


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