Axel Teichmann: "at the moment, we do not have a team for Oslo"
After four stages of Tour de Ski, The German Cross Country team is still without any podiums. Jochen Behle, head coach of the team reveals that the focus has to be on Oslo now in order to be able to compete for medals in the World Ski Championship.
"My predictions are confirmed. The athletes needs to get back in rythm after their long World Cup break caused by sickness. This is the case for Franz Göring, Axel Teichmann and Jens Filbrich". All three athletes could not start in the last World Cup race before Tour de Ski because of sickness. Göring gave up Tour de Ski after a new infection, and quit the Tour after yesterdays sprint in Oberstdorf. In addition, Behle confirmed that Tim Tscharnke and some of the younger athletes will not finish Tour de Ski.
"In the last few days, we have trained a lot, and in the case of Tim Tscharnke it was simply too much exercise in short time. He was overloaded". Behle says that the World Ski Championship in Oslo is the main highlight and number one goal of the season. "We are focusing 100% on Oslo now, the Championship is definitely more important to us".
Behle is still hoping for good results in Tour de Ski for the men. For the women on the other hand, things looks slightly worse with Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Nicole Fessel dropping out of the Tour. "Denise Herrman finished seventh in the Prolog, a position I am satisfied with. In the Pursuit we should have had much better positions, and we are too far behind time wise".
Tobias Angerer who won Tour de Ski in 2007, did not have a good start in Tour de Ski, dropping out after second stage. "From the very beginning of the Pursuit in Oberhof, Tobias told me he had problems following the main group and decided to break the Tour" Behle states. Angerer decided to have a World Cup break before Christmas. The two times World Cup winner has decided to go through a specific training schedule in order to get back in shape. Two times World Champion, Axel Teichmann states that getting back in shape for the Championships in Oslo will be important: "We have a lot planned for Oslo, and want to attack as hard as we can, especially because of the pressure the Norwegians are under competing on home soil. In order to do so, we need a team, and at the moment we do not have one due to sickness".
Source: DSV - Deutscher Ski Verband