Yuri Borodavko: Bolshunov Is As Ready As Last Year, Nepryaeva Will Have Tough Beginning Of Season

Yuri Borodavko spoke to Daily Skier at the training camp in Ramsau as his athletes were ..playing floorball. Borodavko is almost unique among the top xcski coaches: he believes that ball sports – be it volleyball, floorball or even football – are good for morale and team spirits. And that the benefits of good mood outweigh the potential risks.

…For the Russians this season was as experimental as it could : instead of going to their usual Alpine and Norwegian training spots, they’ve stayed at home – which meant no snow skiing in the summer and non-standard altitude camps. How will affect Alex Bolshunov, Natalia Nepryaeva and their teammates

Borodavko, in his own words:

It’s one tough season. Apart from COVID that affected and keeps on affecting the locations and type of training, FIS has decided to make changes in the World Cup program that might look minor but are very important when you have two very strong and matching contenders in men’s program – those changes could tip the scales, frankly. I’m talking about making relays and team sprint results count in individual WCup standings and adding an additional sprint race to the calendar.
Of course, our main goal in the World Championship in Oberstdorf but keeping the World Cup in Russia in 2021 is just as important
We had to change a lot of things in training last spring, summer and early autumn as we were not allowed to go to many of our usual places – mostly in Europe but some in Russia too because of COVID restrictions. Still, I believe the team and, in particular, Alexander Bolshunov are on the same functional level that the same time last year
No, you can’t say that the team, our whole training group works for Bolshunov and Nepryaeva and their success – they all are very ambitious, they all have their specific goals and plans for the season
Natalia Nepryaeva is not as ready, unfortunately. Her individual summer training didn’t go as planned – the beginning of the season shall be tough for her in the present state, but in the second half she will catch up with the best and, hopefully, win too
I do not see the lack of snow training in the summer as big deal – the summer is there to develop other necessary qualities while that specific “feel of the snow” returns fully after just a couple of weeks in October – November

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