Andrew Musgrave: I want to keep on improving every year
Andrew Musgrave was born in Dorset in England. He is one of the few British Cross-Country Skiers that have broken onto the international scene.
Musgrave started with Cross-Country skiing in Alaska, where lived for five years. After he had returned to Scotland he joined the local ski club in Huntly. In this last year as the junior he moved to Norway and has lived there since. This autumn Andrew Musgrave started to study engineering at the University of Trondheim. “It’s good to combine skiing and studying. It’s good to focus on something else other than just skiing all the time,” he says. FIS Cross-Country News talked with Andrew Musgrave after his morning workout.
Q: Andrew, how was your summer? How has your training season gone so far?
Andrew Musgrave: The summer has been very good. I have trained a lot and managed to all my planned workouts. Luckily I haven't been injured or ill, so I'm pleased with how things are going. I have started to train with one of the biggest private teams in Norway, Team Veidekke. I have been in a decent shape this summer, but just because you are good in the summer doesn't mean you'll be good in the winter. The felling and shape on the snow can be different. On the other hand it is a good sign that I am on the right way and I am confident about the forthcoming winter.
Q: What was for you the highlight of the last season?
A.M.: Overall it was a good season. I am happy with how it went. I finished second in the Norwegian nationals and that was certainly one of the highlights for me. I also scored the first World Cup points of my career. Hopefully this coming season I will score points regularly. It was also the first year I competed in the Tour de Ski.
Q: How was it for you?
A.M.: Hard, it was really hard. I had a few good stages. I finished 28th in the prologue and 29th in the free technique sprint in Toblach. On the other hand I raced poorly in the classical technique races. I have been working on classic this off-season, and I hope I will become more consistent and competitive.
Q: Do you plan to race Vasaloppet again?
A.M.: It was a great experience racing the Vasaloppet. I didn't really do any specific training for it, but enjoyed doing it a lot. The Birkebeiner was better for me, where I finished 16th. I'd love to race the Vasaloppet and the Birkebeiner again. I will have to see see if it fits into my schedule this winter..
Q: Where do you see yourself in three years?
A.M.: I want to keep on improving every year. The sense of progress is very important to me. Hopefully one day I will be good enough to win a medal at a major event. I think I have a chance if everything goes well, I have good luck and a good day. Then anything is possible.
Q: Couple of weeks ago the Summer Olympics were held in London. What is your experience from them?
A.M.: It was awesome to watch the Olympics held in my home country. Our athletes did amazingly well and it was inspiring to seem the effort and success. The whole country was focused on sport and that was great. Hopefully it inspired a new generation of athletes. For me the highlight was 5.000 m and 10.000 m races and two Gold Medals that Mo Farah won. It will be hard, though, for Britain to repeat such a huge success in the Winter Olympics, when there is so little snow in the country.
Q: Did also winter sports benefit from the sport state support?
A.M.: No, I don't think there has been a direct impact in terms of funding. On the other hand I believe the sport awareness of the public has increased and that's good for winter sports and Cross-Country skiing.
Q: What are you training plans for the autumn?
A.M.: I have trained a lot in Norway in the area around Trondheim, in Troendelag. It's a very good area for training. Team Veidekke have had quite a few camps in the region. In October I am going to Ramsau for three weeks with the team and then back to Norway for the season start in Beitostoelen.
Q: What is your vision for the next season?
A.M.: I would like to carry on the momentum from last winter and become more consistent. I am focusing both on the Tour de Ski and the World Championships. At the moment I plan to race the Tour. Last winter racing the Tour helped me come into better form, so hopefully the same will happen this year!. Another major goal lies in Val di Fiemme at the World Championships. The 15km skate is my favourite distance. If everything goes well and I have good skis and am in top-form then I feel I can be amongst the top 15. That would be a big achievement for me.