Cross-Country Talk: Maurice Manificat (FRA)
FIS Cross-Country News had a chat with Maurice Manificat (FRA), currently ranked second in the Overall World Cup ranking.
Q: Last time you competed in the World Cup was in Davos. What did you do to recover and prepare for the FIS Tour de Ski?
Maurice Manificat: I was tired after Davos. Not only from the World Cups but also from the hard training we did. I had to rest a little to recover. I took part in a local competition in France to keep my shape and energy.
Q: How is your energy level before the Tour?
M.M.: My energy level is very good. Before Christmas I felt tired but now I feel good and I look forward to the start of the Tour de Ski. My shape has been good. I will see how the first Tour stages go.
Q: What do you expect from the first Tour de Ski stages?
M.M.: Two years ago, I did well in the prologue when I was third. Free technique is my favorite so I hope to be strong again. As for the sprint, it’s been a while since I have competed in the sprint. It will be in the free technique so I have to wait and see. Three years ago in Prague, my sprint I was not bad. My feeling on the snow has been good.
Q: You are currently second in the Overall World Cup standing. Are you surprised?
M.M.: Am I surprised? Yes and no. I had a very good start to the season. I felt very good. It was a great fight between me Sundby and Jesperssen in Davos. For sure I want to keep the position and I will fight for it. I will do my best to do well in the Tour, it will be hard.
Q: What are your expectations for the FIS Tour de Ski?
M.M.: Two years ago I was fighting for podium but I lost it in the classic stage in Val di Fiemme. I know I can bee strong the in the Final Climb. So my goal for this year is fight for a good position before the last stage. Tour is always difficult the final result is influenced by many things. I hope this year I will be in the fight for the podium.
Q: Last season you had a very good start but then it was ruined by an injury. Did it make you stronger?
M.M.: It is always difficult to accept that kind of situation. Some good things and bad things came from it. I am not the person who dwells on the past. I am focused on the future. But I think that experiences from last season made me stronger and helped me to prepare in the best way for the Olympic season. I am stronger now and ready for the next competitions.
Q: What will make your season successful?
M.M.: Of course, if I leave Sochi with a medal, it would be the best and biggest achievement. On the other hand, my season has been successful already! I won a World Cup competition in Davos. It was a great success and I am very happy for it. I will also try be on the Overall World Cup podium in Falun. I can say already now, that I am happy with the season 2013/14.