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– Yes, it’s me, I’m afraid of making mistakes. But I am not afraid of making a mistake if I have done the best I can, Kristoffersen says to NTB when asked if he is afraid of losing or making mistakes when he starts.
This is how the alpine star elaborates:
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– In alpine there are such small margins. From getting well through a turn to getting on inner skis. The margins are so incredibly small, it happens so incredibly fast. If you are out, then you are out, in alpine. It’s not like cycling where you can change wheels along the way, or that you can win even if you have broken a pole in cross country skiing.
– But it is important that the desire to win is greater than the fear of failure. And I have worked a lot on that.
The 26-year-old has overcome the fear and won most things an alpinist can win. Among other things, he has topped the World Cup in both slalom and giant slalom and won World Cup gold and Olympic medals.
There have also been 21 individual victories in the World Cup.
– The very best thing is just to win cross-country skiing. It is the feeling of being the best that day, says the 26-year-old who is used to winning, who answers questions about whether he is going for an overall winner in the World Cup:
– I’ve been chasing that bullet so hard, for so long, after (Marcel) Hirscher. With how everything turned out last year, I feel that I appreciate even more winning ski skiing.
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If he wins in Sunday’s season opener in Sölden, it will in that case be the first time the hijacker has a podium place on the Austrian glacier.
– It is probably time to try to do something about it, Kristoffersen states.
– Impossible to say
Last season, he finished third overall in the World Cup, but he won both the slalom and giant slalom cups. The slalom cup was won by only two points ahead of Frenchman Clément Noël. Where the two crucial points came from is difficult to say.
– I was about to run out in the slalom in Val dʻIsère and was number 28 after the first round, but ended up as number four. Noel was about to drive out in the first round in Schladming and was number 29, or 30. He then became four, so it weighs up against each other, he recalls.
– Then he drove out in a race, while I hooked in Chamonix, so it evens out. So where the two points that separated us came from is impossible to say.
Also in the giant slalom cup, there were margins that differed. Kristoffersen won by six points on Alexis Pinturault, with whom he has trained a lot in the run-up to the season.
Kristoffersen holds Noel as his perhaps biggest challenger in slalom this season, but also draws up Daniel Yule from Switzerland as a strong card.
– I will not say that I am a better alpinist than Noel, but it is probably we who have the highest top speed if you look at all the races last year. Daniel Yule ended up a number of points behind in the end, but in some hills he was extremely fast. So it is probably the three of us who were the big three in downhill skiing, says Kristoffersen.
When it comes to the season’s goals, he seems relaxed, and the World Cup in February / March he has not started thinking about yet.
– The goal is to win races. But to do that, you have to ski technically and fast. Then we’ll take it as it comes.