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Won by more than three hours

Emilia Lindstedt - Nordenskiöldsloppet 2018 - Photo Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet 680x
Emilia Lindstedt (SWE) won the 2018 Nordenskiöldsloppet by more than three hours. Photo: Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet

Emilia Lindstedt (SWE) won the 2018 Nordenskiöldsloppet by more than three hours. Photo: Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet

Meet Emilia Lindstedt: the new queen of long-distance racing

“This is both my best and worst experience. I have never been so tired in my life,” the 27-year-old after finishing the 220 kilometer Nordenskiöldsloppet.

Lindstedt, who has been racing the Ski Classics for two years, polished off the rugged classic race from Purkjaur to Jokkmokk in Northern Sweden in 14 hours and one minute. She was more than three hours ahead the next female racer and only a good half hour behind the overall winner (Andreas Nygaard, who finished in 13:25).

The victory was more than the rookie had dared to hope for stepping up to the starting line on Saturday, March 24. With a dusting of fresh snow in the tracks and challenging, slow conditions, it didn’t look like a course record-breaking day in the world’s longest ski marathon.

“This was the first time I raced Nordenskiöldsloppet. I expected it to be a huge challenge both physically and mentally. I hoped to find the flow, and avoid any big problems. I was really nervous and curious about how my body would respond, and how it would feel, given that Vasaloppet was the longest race I had done so far, and Vasaloppet is only 90 kilometers. Of course, I always race to win and I always aim to ski as fast as I can,” she says.

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Emilia Lindstedt (second) during the 2018 Nordenskiöldsloppet. Photo: Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet

Emilia Lindstedt (second) during the 2018 Nordenskiöldsloppet. Photo: Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet

When did you realize the victory was within reach?
“It’s hard to say exactly when I knew I could win, but as early as after 30 kilometer I realized I was the only girl in the lead group. While so much can happen in a long race like this, at the halfway point where the course loops back, I saw that I had a huge gap to the next female racer. I still felt really strong, and I started believing I might just nail the victory. The last 20 kilometers I could let up a little bit, and I was able to really enjoy the race.”

This race is more than twice as long as the Vasaloppet. What does it take to handle such a distance?
“To go this far, it’s important to be mentally prepared for the task, have a positive attitude and be able to motivate yourself during the race. And of course it’s important to stay fueled along the way. I had a really great support team. My younger brother and my boyfriend followed me all the way on a snow mobile. They gave me sports drink every 20 to 30 minutes and something to eat every hour. And I had amazing skis. They kept their glide the entire distance and that is incredibly important in a race like this.”

What will you do next season?
“The next season is still a bit up in the air. The last two seasons I’ve focused on the Ski Classics series, but prior to this season, my team folded, so this season has been quite different than I first expected. I really hope I can find a way to keep racing next season as well.”

Vasaloppet isn’t a matter of VO2max

Stian Hoelgaard at the finish after Vasaloppet 2017. Photo: Ski Classics
Stian Hoelgaard at the finish after Vasaloppet 2017. Photo: Ski Classics

Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) shares his best Vasaloppet advice. Photo: Ski Classics

Get the inside tips on how to prepare for the 90km classic race from Sälen to Mora.

“There are two things that make or break Vasaloppet, and it’s not your endurance or your VO2max. It’s your ability to work manage pain and fatigue and staying mentally focused,” says Stian Hoelgaard (NOR), who was on the Vasaloppet podium both in 2016 and 2017.

His top advice is to find small partial goals along the way and make sure you stay fueled and hydrated the whole time.

“Find something to look forward to along the way, and take advantage of the feed stations. It’s fun to arrive there, and always lots of people cheering,” he says.

In addition to the race supported aid stations, the pro teams have feed stations every five kilometers, and you should too.

“Most people will run out of fuel in Vasaloppet, but make sure it doesn’t happen before the finish line. That means feeding frequently and start taking feeds early,” Hoelgaard says.

The short rule is that you cant skimp on fueling for the first 80 kilometers, but if you feel great when you get to the last feed station and your battling for positions, you can consider passing it. But be aware that you can go from fine to fatal in a couple of minutes at this point in the race.

Equally important as food, make sure you have good skis that fit your weight, technique and skill level.

“Your performance and experience is totally dependent on good skis. If you are using kick wax, its worth it to stop and adjust the wax if conditions change,” Hoelgaard says.

The pro teams generally use double-pole specific skis designed for max speed and propulsion without kick wax, but Vasaloppet was won on kick wax as late as 2012. And have you considered the new Redline Intelligrip skin skis?

Check out the selection here

Stay tuned for more advice on how to attack the course, kilometer by kilometer.

This is Ski Classics 2018

Vasaloppet already has more than 60,000 skiers signed up for the 2017 winter festival. Photo: Vasaloppet

The marathon race series just announced the event schedule for the upcoming season.

Vasaloppet already has more than 60,000 skiers signed up for the 2017 winter festival. Photo: Vasaloppet

Vasaloppet is one of the 11 events that make up the 2018 Ski Classics race schedule. Photo: Vasaloppet

Season 8 of the long-distance ski championship consists of 11 events from the end of November through mid-April. (See complete schedule below)

The 2018 Ski Classics season
There are several changes for the 2018 season, starting with a new format for the Pro Team Tempo, which is the opening show of the 11-event series. This year, the Pro Team women’s tempo will be run as a pursuit race following the Pro Team men’s team tempo.

The season can be divided into three distinct phases: The first consists of two events at altitude before Christmas. From January until mid-February, the racers embark on five events in Central Europe before the season caps off with the four-race Nordic Tour mini-cup consisting of Vasaloppet (SWE), Birkebeinerrennet (NOR), Reistadløpet (NOR) and Ylläs Levi (FIN).

Vasaloppet China in early January is out, as is Årefjällsloppet in Sweden, cutting the schedule from 13 to 11 events.

Strong Madshus Marathon team
This year, Madshus racer Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) won the youth competition for the second consecutive time and with a crushing margin. He is as motivated as ever for the upcoming season. Also, 3 Madshus women among top 5 in the Overall Ski Classics Champion competition: Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) of Team United Bakeries was third, Sara Lindborg of Team Särneke was fourth and Emilia Lindstedt (SWE) of Team Ski ProAm was fifth.

Madshus racer John Kristian Dahl (NOR) won the 90km Vasaloppet in Sweden, the world’s largest and oldest classic ski race, for the third time.

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Stian Hoelgaard was third in the 90km Vasaloppet 2017. Photo: Ski Classics

Stian Hoelgaard won the 2017 Ski Classic Youth Competition. Photo: Ski Classics

 

2018 Ski Classics Schedule
Event 1: 26th November, Prologue, Pontresina Switzerland 10 km
Event 2: 2nd December, La Sgambeda, Livigno Italy 35km
Event 3: 13th January, Kaiser Maximilian Lauf, Seefeld Austria 60km
Event 4: 20th January, La Diagonela, St Moritz Switzerland 65km
Event 5: 28st January, Marcialonga, Trentino Italy 70km
Event 6: 3rd February, Toblach-Cortina, Italy 50km
Event 7: 18th February, Jizerska Padesatka, Czech Republic 50km
Event 8: 4th March, Vasaloppet, Sweden 90km
Event 9: 17th March, Birkebeinerrennet, Norway 54km
Event 10: 7th April, Reistadløpet, Bardufoss Norway 50km
Event 11: 14th April, Ylläs-Levi, Finland 67km

 

Ready to Race

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) will compete in the mass start on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) will compete in the mass start on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen (NOR) is ready for the World Cup season opener in Östersund (SWE). Photo: Nordic Focus

The weekend marks the opening of the World Cup season for Nordic and biathlon, as well as the kick-off for the 2017 Ski Classics long-distance series.

It will be a busy season for both fans and racers, so mark your calendar for the season highlights.

The IBU biathlon World Cup opens in Östersund (SWE) on November 27 with the mixed team relay in the afternoon and the single mixed relay in the evening. The World Cup opener continues with the women’s 15km normal on November 30, the men’s 20km normal on December 1, sprints for men and women on December 3 and concludes with pursuit races for men and women on December 4.

The IBU World Cup season consists of nine World Cup rounds:
Nov 25-Dec 4: Österssund (SWE)
Dec 6-11: Pokljuka (SLO)
Dec 13-18: Nove Mesto (CZE)
Jan 2-8: Oberhof (GER)
Jan 10-15: Rupholding (GER)
Jan 17-22: Antholz-Anterselva (ITA)
Feb 27-March 5: Hochfilzen (AUT)
March 7-12: Pyeongchang (KOR)
March 14-19: Oslo (NOR)

The 2017 FIS Nordic World Cup opens in Ruka (FIN) with races for both cross-country and Nordic combined on November 26-27. For cross-country, the World Cup opens with classic sprint races on Saturday, followed by 10/15-kilometer skate races on Sunday. The Nordic Combined racers open their season with Gundersen Large Hill 142m and 10-kilometer cross-country on both Saturday and Sunday.

Then the cross-country World Cup continues with 12 rounds including Tour de Ski and two mini tours throughout the winter:
Nov 26-27: Ruka (FIN)
Dec 2-4: Lillehammer (NOR) mini tour
Dec 10-11: Davos (SUI)
Dec 17-18: La Clusaz (FRA)
Dec 31-Jan 8: Tour de Ski
Jan 14-15: Toblach (ITA)
Jan 21-22: Ulricehamn (SWE)
Jan 28-29: Falun (SWE)
Feb 3-5: PyeongChang (KOR)
Feb 18-19: Otepää (EST)
March 8: Drammen (NOR)
March 11-12: Oslo (NOR)
March 16-19: Tyumen (RUS) mini tour

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Ingvild Flugstad Østberg won the 10-kilometer season opener at Beitostølen on Friday, and was third in the 10-kilometer skate race on Saturday. Photo: Geir Olsen

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) won the 10-kilometer season opener at Beitostølen last weekend, and is excited to get started with the 2016-17 FIS World Cup. Photo: Geir Olsen

For Nordic Combined, there are 12 World Cup rounds this season:
Nov 26-27: Ruka (FIN)
Dec 2-4: Lillehammer (NOR)
Dec 17-18: Ramsau (AUT)
Jan 7-8: Lahti (FIN)
Jan 13-15: Val di Fiemme (ITA)
Jan 21-22: Chaux-Neuve (FRA)
Jan 27-29: Seefeld (AUT)
Feb 4-5: PyeongChang (KOR)
Feb 10-11: Sapporo (JAP)
March 11: Oslo (NOR)
March 15: Trondheim (NOR)
March 18-19: Schonach (GER)

Two World Championships
Additionally, the IBU World Championships take place in Hochfilzen (AUT) from February 8-19, and the FIS Nordic World Championships take place in Lahti (FIN) from February 21-March 5.

5-month marathon party
Also, the Ski Classics long-distance race series opens on November 27 with a team prologue in Pontresina, Switzerland, and continues through mid-April with the final taking place in Levi, Finland. For the 2017 season, there are 28 professional teams and almost 200 racers in the pro category.

For the first time, the race series ventures outside Europe, featuring the Vasaloppet China on January 4 as a part of the 2017 race schedule.

Read more about the 2017 Ski Classics season

The 2017 Ski Classics Schedule
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 55km

Each year, 15,800 racers embark on the 90 kilometer journey from Sälen to Mora. Photo: Vasaloppet

Each year, 15,800 racers embark on the 90 kilometer journey from Sälen to Mora. Photo: Vasaloppet

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