Andreas Nygaard, Team Radge Eiendom, and Katerina Smutná, ED System Bauer Team, were able to take home the victories after tight fights in both the men’s and women’s races in La Diagonela, Switzerland. Team Ragde Eiendom dominated today as the team claimed four podium places.
The 6th edition of La Diagonela, took place in sunny but cold conditions in the Engadin valley. Hard tracks, slow snow and no wind gave all the competitors a fare race.
In the men’s race the pro team athletes waited each other out until they reached the sprint point at 16 km in Samedan, which was soon followed by the climb point at 20 km. This set the pace for the race, but a large lead group stayed together. No decisive action took place until the last 4 km when Oskar Kardin, Team Ragde Eiendom increased the speed. A small group approached the final climb where Andreas Nygaard once again showed his sprinting capacity and won. He was followed by his teammates Tord Asle Gjerdalen and Oskar Kardin.
“It is fantastic to be back on the podium,” the happy winner Nygaard stated at the finish. “Today was such a team performance with great skis. It’s really incredible to have all of our guys on the podium. As always, there was a high speed up to St. Moritz, but then everything slowed down, and I just wanted to save energy for the last 3 km.”
The pro women also stayed together until the first sprint. In the long uphill to the climb point, only four skiers remained in the lead group. Of the four, Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Koteng, was not able to keep up during the last 10km. Britta Johansson Norgren Lager 157 Ski Team, led the group until the last 500 m where Katerina Smutná and Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes, Team Ragde Eiendom, passed her. Smutna turned out to be faster at the end winning just seconds ahead Vikhagen Gjeitnes.
“This was a tough and cold race with slow snow. But I’m super happy to win again”, another pleased winner Smutna said. “Now I’m going back to St. Ulrich to prepare for next weekends event, Marcialonga. This victory gave me boost and confidence I’ve been waiting for. It’ll be fun to do the legendary race in Italy.”
The Hertz Champion competitions are still lead by Petter Eliassen, Team BN Bank, who finished fourth today, and Britta Johansson Norgren. The latter is also leading the sprint competition while her teammate Anton Karlsson took it back on the men’s side. Astrid Øyre Slind and Morten Eide Pedersen, Team BN Bank, remained the leaders of the climb competition. Magnus Vesterheim, Team Kaffebryggeriet, and Marie Renee Sørum Gangsø, Team Synnfjell, are the current youth bib holders. Lager 157 Ski Team is the number one pro team competition at the moment. Visma Alp Trophy competitions are led by Petter Eliassen and Britta Johansson Norgren while Oskar Kardin was named the Visma Skier of the Day.
The next Visma Ski Classics event is Marcialonga in Italy taking place on Sunday, January 27.