Jens Byggmark: „I have never felt better!“
With his cruciate ligament injury all healed and a podium position in the race in Madonna di Campiglio in December 2014, all signs pointed towards the winter of 2014/15 developing into Jens Byggmark’s time to shine. But as it happens often in life, things came differently. Byggmark’s frustration was visible on TV every weekend, his equipment and him not finding the common ground that is needed to end up in the top ranks at the end of the races.
So big changes were made and the 29-year-old veteran can look forward to working with new material, a new serviceman and some new coaches for the upcoming season, as he told skidor.com.
What will you be doing over the summer?
Byggmark: It will be a lot of physical training. I have begun with a new kind of summer training which really motivates me and I have never felt better than now. I addition to that, I had some holidays in May so that I was able to enjoy some socialising with friends next to exercising. Right now, I am driving myself really hard and have done so over a 5-week period. It’s quite difficult to get some rest days in. If you’re making progress, training becomes almost like a drug!
You are set up with a new equipment manufacturer, what are your expectations?
Byggmark: Yes, I signed with Rossignol in the spring and I am looking forward to working with them. They are very professional and are fully committed to become the number one in the brand ranking, something I am very happy to help with.
Will you also get a new serviceman?
Byggmark: Yes, exactly, I will share Niclas Cronsell with Markus Larsson and Axel Bäck.
The last winter was a lot of ups and downs for you. What can you do to become more consistent in your performances?
Byggmark: There has been a lot of uncertainty in my skiing. On some days, my setup worked really well and on some other days, you couldn’t do anything and so I was always forced to give everything I had to get a top ten run. Incredibly frustrating. But now it is all about learning how the equipment reacts in various snow conditions to know what to do when we have those conditions in the races.
What are your thoughts right before the race when you wait at the start gate?
Byggmark: Unfortunately, I got to know frustration which does not feel good in this moment. I haven’t found the equipment that will allow me to ski as I want to yet. But I am pretty good at giving myself a pep talk to make the best of it.
How do you become the world’s best slalom skier?
Byggmark: Well if I knew this, I would have done it already. Right now, I do things that I myself believe in and I don’t care what everybody else around me says, I actually trust myself. This is something that I would like to say to the 20-year-old Jens. But now I feel like I am on the right track.
In the past winter, you could still feel your ACL injury. How is it going with it now?
Byggmark: One week after the last spring skiing days, the aches disappeared. It was the patellar tendon that gave me some trouble in the end but I think it just needed some more rest.
You will start into the season with a new coach, Heinzpeter Platter and even a new Alpine Sports Director, Tommy Eliasson Winter, what are your thoughts about that?
Byggmark: I have only met Heinzpeter a couple of times but it will be fine as long as he can help us to be as good as possible at all times. I’ve known Tommy since the Tärnaby-time when he was also active. I have heard he has done a good job with the Skicross team and so I do hope that he is warmed up for working with us.
View the full interview in Swedish here.