By Johan Trygg
Visma Ski Classics Pro athletes don’t take a longer break during the Christmas holidays. Already today, December 26, many of the Swedish and some Norwegian athletes competed at Åre Swix Open. Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden, and Oskar Kardin, Team Ragde Eiendom, took their fifth and fourth victories in the race.
The 42 km Åre Swix Open has become a tradition for many elite athletes. A great way to shake down the Christmas ham and keep the pace up during the Christmas holidays. It is a small race in the alpine ski resort of Åre. 140 skiers participated this year, some of the top athletes in Visma Ski Classics.
In the men's class, Oskar Kardin was out for revenge after last year's duel with Andreas Holmberg, Lager 157 Ski team, who then pulled the longest straw. This time, Kardin had a fight at the finish line with another Lager 157 athlete, Emil Persson. In third place, the older brother Persson, Nils, from Team Engcon, crossed the finish line just before Holmberg and Team Ramudden's Max Novak. The first five were within five seconds.
Notable in the men's class: the ”old” Jerry Ahrlin, Team Engcon, finished seventh just over four minutes behind Kardin, but a few seconds ahead of the Vasaloppet winner from last winter Tore Bjørseth Berdal, Team Koteng. Ahrlin, 41, won Marcialonga three times in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
In the women's class, it was a struggle for Lina Korsgren to try to stay as far up among the men as possible and to set a new track record in under two hours. She finished 10th and 1.59.00 became the impressive result for Lina. Ida Dahl, Team Ramudden finished second, more than ten minutes behind Korsgren, and Evelina Bångman, Team Rustad IL, finished third just over two and a half minutes later.