Everything Rides on Årefjällsloppet

Everything Rides on Årefjällsloppet
Årefjällsloppet is the final event of the 2015 Ski Classics, and nothing is decided yet. Photo: Ski Classics
Årefjällsloppet is the final event of the 2015 Ski Classics, and nothing is decided yet. Photo: Ski Classics

The final event of the 2015 Ski Classics will be a thriller to the finish line on Saturday.

The overall Ski Classics leader Petter Eliassen of Norway can expect a solid run for his money – literally speaking.

Årefjällsloppet is the ninth and final event of the 2015 Ski Classics series. Due to low snow and challenging conditions, the 75-kilometer course has been reduced to 47km. But despite cutting down on the length, race organizers are promising a demanding event that will separate the good from the best.

After winning the Norwegian Birkie last weekend, Eliassen goes into Årefjällsloppet with 1070 points and a 168-point margin down to the next racer in the overall competition.

In defending the yellow bib in the final event and potentially claiming the overall 2015 Ski Classics Champion title, Eliassen will face one of the toughest start fields in the long-distance series this season.

Madshus marathon team racer Oeystein Pettersen (NOR) of Team United Bakeries is in third place for the overall Ski Classics champion title with 840 points, and also leading the sprint competition by 40 points. Pettersen has 240 sprint points, and a 40-point margin down to the next competitor.

Complete standings in all categories

Strongest field to date
The final event of the 2015 Ski Classics features the strongest start fields in the four-year history of the Swedish race.

Among the top elite racers on the start list are Madshus marathon racers John Kristian Dahl, who was third at the Birkebeinerrennet on Saturday and Sweden’s Jörgen Brink, in addition to the top overall contenders.

And in addition to the usual long-distance specialists, a whole slew of World Cup racers such as Petter Northug of Norway, Sweden’s top racers including Johan Olsson, Marcus Hellner and Daniel Richardsson, as well as Russian Olympians Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin, and Czech superstar Lukas Bauer are on the start list, along with Swedish top World Cup women Stina Nilsson, Emma Wikén and Sofia Bleckur.

Start lists
Men Elite
Women Elite

Payday
At the end of the day, the Ski Classics will award the prize money for the overall Ski Classics winner for both the men’s and the women’s categories, as well as the overall sprint competition, team competition, youth men and youth women winners.

Total Prize Money over all season result: 200,000 Euros

Total Prize Money per event: 21,000 Euros

Ski Classics Champion Men
First place: 20 percent of total prize money
Second: 8 percent,
Third: 5 percent,
Fourth: 3 percent,
Fifth: 2 percent,
Sixth: 1 percent

Ski Classics Champion women
First place: 20 percent of total prize money
Second: 8 percent
Third: 5 percent

Ski Classics Team Champion
First place: 20 percent of total prize money

Ski Classics Sprint Champion
First place: 6 percent

Ski Classics Youth Champion Men
First place: 1 percent

Ski Classics Youth Champion Women
First place: 1 percent