The 2019 season is on!

The annual Blink Summer Ski Festival draws a field worthy of a World Cup for both biathlon and cross-country. Photo: Blink

The annual Blink summer ski festival features a field worthy of a World Cup for both cross-country and biathlon.

For the third time, the Blink summer ski festival in Sandnes, Norway, opens with a marathon: The 60-kilometer Blink Classic.

Like the Ski Classic events on snow, the Blink Classic on August 1 is open to both elite and recreational skiers. The roller ski marathon starts in Aalgaard and finishes in Sandnes, with several of the Team Madshus marathon racer on the start list, including three-time Vasaloppet champion John Kristian Dahl (NOR), along with Ski Classics and World Cup racers from more than a dozen nations.

The Blink Classic is also one of four races in the summer long-distance cup Guide World Classics Tour. The other events in the World Classics Tour are Olaf Skoglunds Minneløp (NOR), Alliansloppet (SWE) and Fiemme Rollerski cup (ITA).

Thursday August 2 features the brutal 7.5 uphill roller ski race Lysebotn Opp. Madshus racer Hans Christer Holund (NOR), who earned a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeong Chang (KOR) in February, won the race last year is back to defend his title in a field worthy of a World Cup. On the women’s side, Madshus Olympians Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) and Anaïs Bescond (FRA) will fight her way to the top of the long, steep climb along with racers from a dozen countries.

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The Lysebotn Opp race course. Photo: Rune Helliesen/Blink

On August 3, there are city center races for both biathlon and cross-country in Sandnes: 10km and 15km mass starts for cross-country and biathlon mass start for both men and women.

On August 4, the Blink Summer ski festival concludes with sprint races for both cross-country and biathlon, followed by a public after-ski party with concerts in the bay of Sandnes.

Interested in roller skiing? See our article series on roller skiing
Part 1: Safety first
Part 2: Getting the most from you dryland training: Vasaloppet Champion Dahl’s best advice
Part 3: How do you roll? Weng’s favorite roller ski workout