Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland has shown rising shape in Canada as she won both distance competitions in Canmore clearly. FIS Cross-Country News talked to the defending FIS Tour de Ski winner about the first World Cup period and plans for the 7th edition of the FIS Tour de Ski.
Q: You have now competed in Canmore 8 times, and have been on the podium 8 times. You mentioned the courses are quite hard but they seem to have treated you well?
Justyna Kowalczyk: Yes, I like Canmore. Not only for the good tracks, but I also have had a good training feeling here. After Canmore, I always have a good feeling, which is important for me heading into the Tour de Ski. When my racing is going well, I am always happy!
Q: We are now at the end of period 1 of the 2012/13 World Cup season. Are you happy with where your fitness is?
JK: Now it is much better than at the start of the season. I feel really good, especially in the classical technique. I need to rest a little bit before Christmas, but I think I am ready for the Tour de Ski.
Q: Will you take some time to rest at your home?
JK: Yes, I will go home. I haven’t been there for 6 weeks. It will be good to see my family for 3-4 days, and then I will leave for some training and then back home again.
Q: The Tour de Ski starts on December 29th. When will you head to Oberhof, the start site of the Tour?
JK: I will go on the evening of the 27th.
Q: You are leaving Canada in the yellow bib for the overall World Cup leader. Is it the place you want to be before the Tour?
JK: It is a nice bonus for me. I felt good the whole week in Canada. For sure it is nice to return home as the World Cup leader, but as I have said, the overall World Cup is not the main priority this season.
Q: Where does the Tour de Ski stand in your goals for this season?
JK: Of course the Tour de Ski is important and I hope my shape is good there but the most important goal is World Championships. I am focusing on the classical technique competitions.