The cross-country gear distributor SPORTWIN AB is hitting the road with a brand new gear truck, based on the wax trucks of the national teams. The semi truck has a showroom that doubles as a mobile classroom for clinics as well as a fully equipped, ventilated wax room with state of the art technology.
The truck, which is similar in size to that of the Swedish national wax team, is loaded with state of the art technology that allows the crew to test snow conditions at any given time, or on pavement for rollerskiing. This gives both elite athletes and recreational skiers a unique opportunity to test the latest in Nordic equipment, right on location at the race venue.
Taking service to a new level
SPORTWIN AB is the distributor of the brands Madshus, Bjoern Daehlie, Toko, Proski and OAC: Cross-country skis, ski boots, clothing, ski wax, roller skis and speed skates. The gear truck is in other words a rolling retail store on one side, and a full-service shop with a fixed digital flex and pressure tester, waxes, power tools and accessories in the other end.
“This truck lets us to be on site for our elite racers in a unique way, and at the same time we can raise the service for citizen racers and recreational skiers to a new level. As the interest in cross-country skiing in general and the marathon events in particular is increasing, this is an important contribution to the sport,” says John Vikman, CEO of SPORTWIN AB.
“We also see this service as a way to strengthen our position with retailers, consumers and elite racers,” Vikman adds.
Expert on the roll
SPORTWIN hired former Swedish national team racer Thomas “Oljan” Eriksson to help cultivate the cross-country segment. A former elite racer with deep technical knowledge of the field, Oljan is one of the most experiences service techs in the trade. He has worked with picking skis, waxing and grooming since he retired from professional racing in 1993. Eriksson’s biggest performance is winning the World Championships in Oslo in 1982. With a fresh Commercial Drivers License (CDL) in his back pocket, Eriksson is the designated driver when the gear truck hits the road this season.
“To be a part of a launch like this is a dream come true for me,” he says.
“With this truck, we have the tools we need to offer the highest level of service in the trade, and to continue to expand the knowledge about cross-country skiing in our core markets,” Eriksson explains.
Vikman is particularly grateful for the support he has received from the surrounding businesses at Örsholmen in Karlstad, Sweden. Without their help, the truck would never have been on the road.
“I had no idea there was this many companies with specific knowledge of outfitting trucks like this right here in my back yard,” Vikman says.
“They deserve a lot of cred for the efforts they have mustered,” he continues, and specifically mentions Bevego, Bil & Kylteknik, DJ Karosseri, Svenska skyltar, Fläktteknik and VHT.
- Semi trailer with the license plate number 3.38.41 (Not a coincidence: This is the record for Vasaloppet, delivered by Madshus racer Jörgen Brink in 2012 – on Madshus skis and boots)
- Make/model: Volvo FM9
- Engine: Diesel 300HK
- Transmission: 8-step automatic
- Dimensions: Length 11.5 meter – Height 3.70 meter – Width 2.60 meter
- Total weight: 14 200 kg, of which interior fittings account for 1 500 kg
- Box: Insulated, thermostat guided – can heat/cool the box down to -35 C or up to +25 C in 15 mins
- Tires: Snow tires front and rear
- Other equipment: 3 sets batteries, incl. diesel generator for continuous popwer supply 5.5K, coffee maker, refrigerator, 32” LED TV, 30 pairs pre-prepped cross-country skis, weather station, snow temp thermometer, flex tester etc.
- In Sweden, Sportwin AB and Sportprodukter AB (distributor of K2 Alpine in Sweden) operate in cooperation, as K2 owns Madshus.
- Sportwin AB distributes Madshus, Bjørn Dæhlie, Toko and Proski, and has 4 full-year employees on staff, as well as 40 seasonal former cross-country racers who work as service techs during the 300 event days each year
- Staffan Larsson (former Vasalopp champion) and Thobias Fredriksson (Olympic gold medalist) both work with Sportwin roughly 20 days/year
- Yearly sales to retailers has been about 40 million Swedish kroner the past two seasons
- Sportwin AB is in charge of Vasaloppet’s official wax support for in Sälen.
- Sportwin AB is owned by John Vikman, who retired from professional cross-country racing in 2000. Vikman won a gold medal at the 1992 Junior World Championships, and was 10th in Vasaloppet in 2000. He has worked fulltime in the cross-country business since he retired from professional racing.