Ylläs-Levi 60km premiers on April 8, 2017, and will be the final event in the 2016-17 Ski Classics. Photo: www.yllaslevi.com

Ylläs-Levi 60km premiers on April 8, 2017, and will be the final event in the 2016-17 Ski Classics. Photo: www.yllaslevi.com

The long-distance series ends in Finland for the next three years.

The all-new 60-kilometer classic event Ylläs-Levi premiers on April 8, 2017, and will be the Ski Classics final through 2019.

The Ski Classics is unique in that the race series offers regular recreational skiers and citizen racers an opportunity to start on the same starting line and race the same course on the same day as the elite, such as Madshus marathon team racer John Kristian Dahl (NOR) who won both Vasaloppet and the Birkebeiner back to back – and compare their efforts with best in the world.

The Ylläs-Levi ski event has been around for several years as an unofficial gathering of skiers, but it was made official only last year when a small group of cross-country ski enthusiasts decided to organize a race between Finland’s two most renowned ski resorts.

The start is in the middle of Ylläs Ski Resort by the downhill slopes and ski through scenic landscapes over fells and through Lapland’s wilderness where local reindeer herds can easily be spotted. The race finish is in the center of the idyllic winter wonderland village Levi.

The Ylläs-Levi race in Finland is one of three new events on the 2016-17 Ski Classics schedule. Additionally, the 50km Vasaloppet China on January 4 is on the schedule for the first time this year, as well as the 50km Reistadløpet in Norway on April 1.

Ski Classics VII (2016/2017):
Event 1: 27th November, Prologue Pontresina Switzerland 10 km
Event 2: 3rd December, La Sgambeda Livigno Italy 35km
Event 3: 4th January, Changchun Vasaloppet China 50km
Event 4: 14th January, Kaiser Maximilian Lauf Seefeld Austria 60km
Event 5: 21st January, La Diagonela St Moritz Switzerland 65km
Event 6: 29th January, Marcialonga Trentino Italy 70km
Event 7: 11th February, Toblach-Cortina Italy 50km
Event 8: 19th February, Jizerska Padesatka Czech Republic 50km
Event 9: 5th March, Vasaloppet Sweden 90km
Event 10: 18th March, Birkebeinerrennet Norway 54km
Event 11: 26th March, Årefjällsloppet Sweden 65 km
Event 12: 1st April, Reistadløpet Bardufoss Norway 50km
Event 13: 8th April, Ylläs-Levi Finland 60km

John Kristian Dahl (NOR) won the Birkebeiner less than two weeks after winning Vasaloppet. Photo: Inge Scheve

John Kristian Dahl (NOR) won the Birkebeiner less than two weeks after winning Vasaloppet. Photo: Inge Scheve