THE NEXT CHALLENGER EVENT IS GAUTEFALLRENNET THAT TAKES PLACE IN NORWAY TOMORROW, AND IT IS LIVE STREAMED ON VISMA SKI CLASSICS PLAY!
Gautefallrennet in Norway, formely knowns as Olaf Skoglunds Minneløp, continues the Visma Ski Classics Challengers tour as the second installment of the series. Alliansloppet in Sweden kicked off the tour two weeks ago. Gautefallrennet is now 60 km long, shortened from last year, and it has one of the toughest courses in long distance roller-skiing. The race starts at 12:50 pm CET in Kroken and finishes at the Gautefall Biathlon stadium.
Last year’s winner Anders Mølmen Høst, Team Serneke, is defending his title while Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Koteng, who won the women’s race a year ago, is not able to attend. The elite men and women start at the same time, but the former need to use slower roller-skis than the women and amateur skiers. The course presents a 400-meter difference in altitude, and the skiers face the most challenging part of the race with many hard climbs just before reaching the finish.
In addition to Mølmen Høst, the other favorites of the race are Morten Eide Pedersen, Lillehammer Skiklubb, who was second last year and has been extremely strong throughout the summer season, Øyvind Moen Fjeld, Lager 157 Ski Team, who managed to be on the podium in the last race of the Visma Ski Classics pro tour this winter, and Simen Engebretsen Nordli, Team ParkettPartner Sjusjøen, who was 5th in Alliansloppet two weeks ago.
Vegard Vinje, last year’s 3rd and 2nd in Alliansloppet, is not going to able to defend his podium place tomorrow. All of these skiers are from Norway.
In the women’s race, Team Koteng’s Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes from Norway was third last year and is one of the best candidates to claim the victory since the last year’s winner Øyre Slind and second Maria Gräfnings are not participating. She will face a fierce competition from Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden, the Vasaloppet winner of 2018.
“We are excited about the race tomorrow,” the chief of communication Kai Roar Melås says in the midst of his final preparations for the event. “This is probably the toughest course in any roller-ski event, and the last part of the course has some great climbs. The race is now 20 km shorter than before, but the hard course makes this a true challenge for all skiers. I’m sure that we’ll be able to offer a great day for every participant!”
Gautefallrennet can be followed on Visma Ski Classics PLAY starting at 12:40 pm CET.