First World Cup show-down on tap

First World Cup show-down on tap
The Blink Summer Ski Festival routinely attracts World Cup-level racers from both biathlon and cross-country to competitions in Sandnes, Norway. Photo: Axelar/Blink

From July 31 through August 3, the World Cup and elite skiers are getting ready to meet for the first time since the end of the ski season.

The Blink Summer Ski Festival has been a tradition for more than a decade, and routinely attracts World Cup and elite level skiers from both cross-country and biathlon to four days of competitions in and around Sandnes, on the southern tip of Norway.

Among the top contenders registered for the Blink Festival are several of the World Cup racers, including Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), and rising star Helene Marie Fossesholm (NOR) from Madshus new project Team Beijing 2022.

“I am super excited for all the races during the festival, but particularly the uphill challenge Lysebotn OPP where I can match myself with the best skiers in the world and also compare my performance with my results from previous years on the same course,” Fossesholm says.

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Helene Fossesholm on her way to the finish line at Lysebotn Opp. Photo: Hilde Siewers

This year’s festival opens with the 60-kilometer roller ski marathon Blink Classic on Wednesday, July 31. The Blink Classic, which is a part of the long-distance roller ski world cup, also features shorter options for recreational skiers, including a 50km, a 20km and a 14km course.

The infamous hill climb Lysebotn Opp is scheduled for Thursday, August 1. The elite women start at 1:50pm, while the men start at 3:30pm.

New this year is a double-pole only race for the elite men. This race starts at 3:35pm, in order to not get mixed in with the regular skate race.

Friday, August 2, features races for both cross-country skiers and biathletes. There are sprint events for juniors in the morning and midday, while the elite men and women race their prologues and mass start events in the afternoon and evening.

The festival concludes on Saturday, August 3, with a similar program for both biathletes and cross-country skiers, juniors and elite.

Follow the action live on Norwegian television, or stay up to date on the Blink festival’s social media channels.

More about Blink 2019

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