Sverre Lunde Pedersen (29) does not switch back to his old skates before the gold match at team pace, although national team manager Bjarne Rykkje admits that it was gambling to use a new and different “chassis” – and it obviously did not work in the 5000 meters.
– We’ve talked about it, of course. But it’s his choice. He continues with these. Team tempo is something else. There is another way to go, Bjarne Rykkje answers the question of whether Sverre Lunde Pedersen – who led Norway to Olympic gold three years ago – will switch back to the “old skates” on Friday afternoon.
Then Norway’s team with Sverre Lunde Pedersen, Hallgeir Engebråten and Allan Dahl Johansson is the favorite to take the World Cup gold medal at team pace. The Norwegian trio meets the Russian trio – which due to doping history does not compete as Russia, but RSU – in the last pair.
Lunde Pedersen throws the gold skates before the WC
Viaplay / V4 starts its broadcast from the distance WC in the “skating bubble” in Heerenveen at 15.05. Team tempo for women (Norway in 3rd pair against «Russia») starts 15.10, team tempo men 15.33.
– Of course it was a disappointing result for Sverre (Lunde Pedersen). We gambled a bit with the steel. It did not work now. But he could not do anything else, says Bjarne Rykkje.
Sverre Lunde Pedersen, who won the World Cup gold in the distance in Inzell two years ago with a time of 6.07.16, finished in 17th place with a time of 6.31.40 in the 5000-meter on Thursday – 23 seconds behind the winner, Sweden’s Nils van der Poel ( 24). Hallgeir Engebråten (20) took 12th place with 6.26.53 – 17 seconds weaker than when “Norway’s last skating scream” set a personal record three weeks ago.
Striking new pushing tactics: – Norway World Cup gold favorites
– It will be another world at high speed. At shorter distances, there is less gambling. We have to go 26 rounds. It is closer to 1500-meter speed, Bjarne Rykkje explains considering the team tempo race 24 hours later.
He and Sverre Lunde Pedersen believe that “high speed” and “new steel” rhyme better than “low speed” (5000 m) and “new steel”. Men’s team pace goes over 3200 meters. That is, eight laps, where the three runners together ensure higher speed than if they had done it individually.
Swedish skating sensation took World Cup gold – the Norwegians disappointed
The Norwegian men’s trio took 2nd place in the season’s first world cup three weeks ago. Two weeks ago, there was a victory in World Cup II, with a track record and Norway’s controversial pushing technique and tactics. When asked if his Norway is “favorite number one” to win on Friday, Bjarne Rykkje answers “the boring”.
– We do not think favorite or not favorite. We have to think about what we are going to do, and then we will see what the result will be, he says.
Considering that the Russian trio went a very good 5000-meter on Thursday (3rd, 4th and 6th place), all-round coach Rykkje points out that they went very well on that distance also previous weekends – but that Norway beat them at team pace anyway.
Norway’s skating sensation 72/100 from the World Cup podium
– That they missed yesterday is not reassuring for team tempo. But it is a new day with new opportunities. That’s the easiest way to conclude. There are not many adjustment options from one day to the next. That the two (Lunde Pedersen / Engebråten) go behind is an advantage. Allan (Dahl Johansson) who is leading must be in good shape. We are dependent on the three running a flawless race, says the skating association’s sports manager Lasse Sætre.
Ps! Norway’s women’s team with Ida Njåtun, Marit Bøhm and Ragne Wiklund has taken two 3rd places in the World Cup races in Heerenveens Thialf.