The Long Distance Ski Championship

"THE PRIDE OF HAFJELL"

TEAM MOSETERTOPPEN SKILINE, Ranking 25

Written by: Teemu Virtanen, Visma Ski Classics expert commentator

It is time to step into a cozy cabin, take off our winter sportswear and snuggle up by a warm fireplace. That is the image this team wants to convey. The name refers to a cabin concept designed for families who have a knack for skiing, or at least finds it alluring. An interesting fact about the team is that they sell their racing suits to cabin owners in Hafjell, and by wearing it, one will get to join the team in their training sessions. The professionals underneath the team suit are mostly unfamiliar faces in the VSC circuit -- their results are above and below the top 100 in the "Big Three" races.

But one name sticks out; Espen Harald Bjerke. - 3rd in Birkebeinerrennet in 2012 & 2013. But many TV viewers remember him as the one who was in a solo breakaway for two hours in Vasaloppet in 2014. And he has the highest VO2max with 96.0 milliliter per kilogram per minute set in 2005. Impressive indeed, and with that engine he should be on the podium more often. Last season was a tough one for him, but he has the ability to be among the best, and the team is counting on him to bring in the points.