The Long Distance Ski Championship

Less than three days to go to the final!

It is time for the final event of the Visma Ski Classics season VII. On Saturday 8th of April the athletes will face 67 kilometers of partly tough skiing in northern Finland, Ylläs to Levi.
It was a hard race last weekend in Norway. Looking at the course profile, it was the most hilly race in the history of Visma Ski Classics. As expected, there were huge time differences even among the top skiers.
Britta Johansson Norgren (Lager 157 Ski Team) decided prior to the season to double-pol all races. She was the only one among the top women to ski Reistadløpet without kickwax, which was a challenging choice. For the first time this season, Britta was outside the podium in sixth place.

Despite that, she will become the Visma Ski Classics Champion. It is impossible for Katerina Smutna (Team Santander) to catch her in the last race. Britta will also conquer the green sprint bib and most likely also the Visma Nordic Trophy, which is the competition that includes the five final events of the season, all taking place in the Nordic countries.

Among the men, Tord Asle Gjerdalen (Team Santander) will win the yellow bib for the first time in his career. He was fifth in Reistadløpet, which gave him an enough lead for the last event. Behind Gjerdalen, there is an even fight for the podium places.

Petter Eliassen (Team Leaseplan) won Reistadløpet using kickwax, the first non-double poling victory among the men in Visma Ski Classics since Daniel Richardsson won Årefjällsloppet 2014. That victory put Eliassen in second places, up from fourth. Since he is in good shape and prefers big climbs, which are found in Ylläs-Levi, a good guess is that he will try to keep away from Andreas Nygaard (Team Santander), Morten Eide Pedersen (Team BN Bank) and Stian Hoelgaard (Team LeasePlan), who are all close behind in the overall standings.

The legend Anders Aukland (Team Santander), who turns 45 in September, has been in great shape the second part of the season. Which has put him all the way up to the first position in the Visma Nordic Trophy competition, closely followed by Eliassen and Gjerdalen. The course in Ylläs-Levi isn’t as hilly as the one in Reistadløpet, but it is still a challenging profile. That suits both Eliassen and Aukland, so we can look forward to an tough fight on Saturday for the Visma Nordic Trophy win.

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