Toni Guggemoos: "Satisfying COC calendar in spite of all difficulties!"
After Race Director Lasse Ottesen spoke about his views on the new season last week, it's now time to check in with Continental Cup Coordinator Toni Guggemoos whose competition circle will kick off overseas with races in the USA later in December.
This year, the creation of the Continental Cup calendar wasn't exactly easy. How satisfied are you now with the end result?
Toni Guggemoos: After I had been able to present a full and very interesting Continental Cup calendar to Race Director Lasse Ottesen in the spring time, some extra difficulties like World Cup date changes, planning of the different competition periods or the Olympics came up which made it impossible for some OCs to follow through on their confirmation of holding a Continental Cup weekend. So, we had to deal with some cancellations which, of course, affected our travel routes.
But all is well that ends well and in spite of all difficulties, I am quite satisfied with our calendar now. Especially our traditional opening in the USA, in Utah Olympic Park / Soldier Hollow at the 17th-19th of December will be exciting.
You are also in charge of the Nordic Combined competitions at the Junior World Championships which always are a season highlight for many of the COC athletes. Why are these competitions important for the development of young athletes?
Guggemoos: Yes, the Junior World Championships are the first big international competitions for our young athletes. Some of the juniors have already taken part in Continental Cup or even World Cup competitions and will be an indicator for all other participants. For others, the Junior Worlds are the stepping stone into the Continental Cup.
The Continental Cup will also have the honour of testing the newly restored World Championship facilities in Falun at the beginning of March shortly before the World Cup circuit stops there for the pre-World Championship tests. What do you expect of this weekend?
Guggemoos: It is very important and in fact a very good idea that we in Continental Cup are able to test new venues and their facilities for functionality and professionalism before the World Cup holds its competitions there.
In Falun, I expect that the World Championship organisers present perfectly prepared hills and tracks and that the Organising Committee works in a very professional and efficient way.
Last but not least I would expressly like to thank all national ski associations and all venues which are hosting and supporting the Continental Cup in 2013/14. Good luck and all the best to all participating nations! I am looking forward to hopefully accident-free and fair competitions!
The Continental Cup 2013/14 features 16 competitions (14 Ind. Gundersens and 2 Team Sprints) in seven venues. The tour kicks off in Soldier Hollow/Utah Olympic Park (USA), before travelling to Høydalsmo (Norway), Klingenthal, (Germany), Planica (Slovenia), Eisenerz (Austria) and Falun (Sweden). The final will take place in Kuusamo, Finland in mid-March.
See the full calendar here!