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Solid Ski Classics Season

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

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

Stian Hoelgaard dominated the Youth Competition, 3 Madshus women among top 5 in the Overall Ski Classics Champion competition.

Hoelgaard (NOR), who won the Youth Competition for the second year in a row, earned 1269 points – almost twice as many points as the next racer. This marks the second year in a row that Hoelgaard wins the Youth competition. He was also fourth in the Overall Ski Classics Champion competition.

“I have had a great season, and I really liked skiing so many races. I made four podium finishes, and had amazing skis and was able to peak just at the right times,” Hoelgaard says. Now, the 26-year-old is hungry for more.

“I still haven’t won a Ski Classics event, so I’m already top motivated for the next season and I am looking forward to start the dryland training and the preparations for next winter, where I hope to nail my first victory.”

A season recap will be broadcasted on Monday, April 17, starting at 8:30am Central European Time. 52-minute broadcast will feature highlights from the 2016-17 Ski Classics season.
More information

Strong women
For the women, Madshus captured three of the top five 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.

Slind was also third in the brand new Nordic Trophy competition, which rewards the top three men and women over the last five events in the Ski Classics. All of these five events take place in the Nordic countries (Vasaloppet and Årefjällsloppet in Sweden, Birkebeinerrennet and Reistadløpet in Norway and the Ski Classics finale Ylläs-Levi in Finland).

Astrid Øyre Slind at the Birkebeinerrennet, where she was fourth after fighting for the podium to the bitter end. Photo: Inge Scheve

Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) at the Birkebeinerrennet, where she was 4th after fighting for the podium to the end. Photo: Inge Scheve

New Era for Ski Classics

Vasaloppet, the biggest long-distance race in the world and Madshus partner, is now one of the owners of the Ski Classics series. Photo: Vasaloppet/Nisse Schmidt
Vasaloppet, the biggest long-distance race in the world and Madshus partner, is now one of the owners of the Ski Classics series. Photo: Vasaloppet/Nisse Schmidt

Vasaloppet, the biggest long-distance race in the world and Madshus partner, is now one of the owners of the Ski Classics long-distance championships series, starting with the 2015-16 season. Photo: Vasaloppet/Nisse Schmidt

Madshus partner Vasaloppet is now part of the new ownership of the long distance cross-country ski championship series Ski Classics.

Starting with the 2015-15 season, the Ski Classics series is now operated by Ski Classics Long Distance Skiing AB, owned by Vasaloppet, Birken and W Sportsmedia.

Madshus is the official partner with Vasaloppet and official supplier for Birken, the two most famous long-distance ski events in the world.

Since the launch of the Ski Classics four years ago, the organization has seen a fantastic growth, both in the Ski Classics series and the interest for long-distance skiing in general.

“On June 18th we will launch the 2015/2016 calendar, which I can already now reveal will include at least one new interesting destination,” says David Nilsson, CEO Ski Classics.

“The Ski Classics have been a fantastic addition to the further development of the cross-country ski industry,” says Nils Hult, CEO of Madshus.

“Our goal is to be present where our customers are, and to be one of the strongest brands in Nordic skiing. Vasaloppet and Birken are some of the strongest brands in sports and fitness events, Hult says.

“The partnership with Vasaloppet and Birken is important for us, and the fact that these events choose Madshus as their exclusive partner for the next four years is a strong statement that firmly supports our status and position in the industry, Hult says.

 

American Birkebeiner Filled to the Brim

The American Birkebeiner 2014 is filled to capacity nearly half a year prior to the event, scheduled for February 22, 2014. Photo: ABSF

Registration for the 2014 American Birkebeiner officially closed October 8, 2013, as the Birkebeiner 50/54K and Kortelopet 23K events reached a combined total of 10,000 skiers.

 

This is the earliest that registration for the Birkie and Korte has closed in the 41-year history of the American Birkebeiner.

 

“We are excited to welcome all these participants, their families, and friends to the 2014 event. It is shaping up to be a fantastic year! Let the training begin,” says Ben Popp, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.

 

Each year the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has allowed more skiers to participate and done this at a rate that allows the ABSF to assure a great experience for all involved.

 

The first year registration closed earlier than January was the 2012 Birkie, when registration closed on November 21. This was the first year the ABSF set and reached a predetermined cap. Then, registration for the 2013 Birkebeiner closed on October 15. This year, even with registration opening in June rather than in April as it typically does – because of the transition to all-online registration – it still closed in just over four months.

 

“The ABSF welcomes all those returning skiers and many skiers that we know are new to the Birkie and to the sport of cross country skiing,” Popp says.

 

However, there are still options for those who did not manage to enter the races before the capacity was reached. Once registration for the American Birkebeiner and Korteloppet races closed on October 8, the Birkie “Skiers for Cures” charitable partner, JDRF, opened up sign-up for 50 “Second Chance” entries.

 

“You simply fundraise a minimum of $500 for JDRF and you get one of these entries that you can use for either the Birkie or the Korte,” Popp explains.

“The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation started making this fundraising-for-entries opportunity available when we supported Multiple Sclerosis (MS) as our charitable partner, and now as we work with JDRF, which researches treatments and a cure for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, ” Popp says.

 

To Sign up for one of these 50 spots, go directly to www.jdrf.org/birkie.

Marathon Racing and Ski Touring Gains Traction

With 750 new Worldloppet passports sold last season alone, there is no doubt that marathon racing and touring is gaining traction all over the world. Over the course of the 2011-12 season, 125,588 racers completed one or more Worldloppet events. That is the largest number of Worldloppet racers since the Worldloppet organization was founded in 1978.

The recent Worldloppet annual meeting in Tartu (EST) shows incredible momentum in the cross-country community. For 2012-13, one new marathon was included in the Worldloppet family, and one new country group was established. The Demino Ski Marathon in Russia becomes the 16th Worldloppet marathon, and becomes the first Russian race on the Worldloppet schedule. The new country group consists of the Czech race Jizerska Padesatka, the Polish race Bieg Piastow and the new Russian race Demino Ski Marathon.

There are also a number of changes and improvements to the existing Worldloppet events, making the race series even more attractive.

La Transjurassienne (FRA) has announced that its 54km event will become 57km due to some minor course adjustments. The Bieg Piastow (POL) has announced its interest in becoming a FIS Marathon Cup for the 2013/14 season. The same goes for the Kangaroo Hoppet (AUS), which expressed interest in becoming a FIS Marathon Cup event, and is also exploring the possibilities of organizing a race series with the Merino Muster in New Zealand. The Merino Muster is not yet a formal Worldloppet event. The Gatineau Loppet (CAN) is also interested in joining the FIS Marathon Cup series, and will present a new course for the classic race this winter. The new course will run from one municipality to the next, making the race even more interesting to the participants.

 

Worldloppet 2012-13 Gold/main event schedule:

25.08.12 KANGAROO HOPPET 42 km FT AUS
13.01.13 JIZERSKÁ PADESATKA 50 km CT CZE
19.01.13 AMERICAN BIRKEBEINER: Open Track 51 km CT USA
19.01.13 AMERICAN BIRKEBEINER: Open Track 51 km FT USA
19.01.13 DOLOMITENLAUF: Classic Race 42 km CT AUT
20.01.13 DOLOMITENLAUF 60 km FT AUT
27.01.13 MARCIALONGA 70 km CT ITA
02.02.13 KÖNIG LUDWIG LAUF 50 km FT GER
03.02.13 KÖNIG LUDWIG LAUF 50 km CT GER
03.02.13 SAPPORO INT. SKI MARATHON 50 km FT JPN
09.02.13 LA TRANSJURASSIENNE: La Transjurassienne 50 50 km CT FRA
10.02.13 LA TRANSJURASSIENNE: La Transjurassienne 76 76 km FT FRA
10.02.13 LA TRANSJURASSIENNE: La Transjurassienne 57 57 km FT FRA
10.02.13 TARTU MARATON: Open Track 63 km FT EST
16.02.13 GATINEAU LOPPET 51 km CT CAN
17.02.13 GATINEAU LOPPET 54 km FT CAN
17.02.13 TARTU MARATON 63 km CT EST
23.02.13 AMERICAN BIRKEBEINER 54 km CT USA
23.02.13 AMERICAN BIRKEBEINER 50 km FT USA
23.02.13 FINLANDIA- HIIHTO 50 km CT FIN
24.02.13 FINLANDIA- HIIHTO 50 km FT FIN
24.02.13 VASALOPPET: Öppet Spår 90 km CT SWE
25.02.13 VASALOPPET: Öppet Spår 90 km CT SWE
02.03.13 BIEG PIASTOW 50 km CT POL
03.03.13 VASALOPPET 90 km CT SWE
10.03.13 ENGADIN SKIMARATHON 42 km FT SUI
15.03.13 BIRKEBEINERRENNET: FredagsBirken 54 km CT NOR
16.03.13 BIRKEBEINERRENNET 54 km CT NOR
16.03.13 DEMINO SKI MARATHON 50 km FT RUS
24.08.13 KANGAROO HOPPET 42 km FT AUS

FT – Free technique

CT – Classic technique

More information about Worldloppet HERE

The Norwegian Birkebeiner is one of the 2012-13 Worldloppet event. Photo: Inge Scheve

 

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