By Pro XC Skiing Editorial Staff (Visma Ski Classics), Picture: BLINK / Øyvind Andersen
The four-day event Blinkfestivalen, or BLINK21 in short, starts tomorrow at 11:45 local time In Norway when our Pro Team athletes face the Lysebottn Opp race. This over seven-kilometer climb in double-poling is certainly a challenge to everyone participating. The current course records by double-poling are held by Andrew Musgrave, 30:52 min, and by Astrid Øyre Slind, 39:10 min, both done in 2019. Slind is not participating this year.
The women's field is led by last winter's top three athletes, Lina Korsgren and Ida Dahl, both from Team Ramudden and Emilie Fleten representing Team Koteng / Eidissen.
The men's side also has the three best skiers from last winter's overall Champion list. They are Emil Persson, Team Lager 157 Ski Team, Tord Asle Gjerdalen Team XPND Fuel Of Norway and Oskar Kardin, Team Ragde Charge. Additionally, there are many other Pro Team athletes and elite skiers fighting for glory tomorrow.
At Staking Lysebotn Opp (double-poling race) there are close to 50 participants while 16 teams are registered for the BLINK Classics Team Challenge in Gjesdal. On Sunday in Gjesdal, nine of the top 10 teams from last year's Pro Team competition will race. The concept is quite intriguing; to find out which team can go the longest distance in eight hours in a relay format and each team has to have a female skier in their ranks.
More information can be found at www.blinkfestivalen.no and stay tuned for additional coverage on our site.