By Johan Trygg
Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden, won Marcialonga for the first time on Sunday.
She is still enjoying the victory, but she has also started recharging for Jizerska 50 and aims to win the second Grand Classics race.
“The body feels good. However, it’s nice to have a break from competitions, mentally,” says Korsgren.
With three Visma Ski Classics season XI events completed, both Lina Korsgren herself and her Pro Team, Team Ramudden, got off to a flying start of the season. Lina leads the Champion competition and has teammates Ida Dahl and Jenny Larsson as third and fourth. In the Team competition, Team Ramudden leads ahead of Lager 157 Ski Team and Russian Winter Team.
We checked the status with Lina when a few days had passed since the triumph at Marcialonga in Italy.
Have you let the victory sink into your mind?
“Absolutely, but I still enjoy the sweetness of it. It’s a wonderful feeling.
For the past three seasons, Lina has been third, second, and third at Marcialonga. In Season X, she had her first victory in sight, but then she got sick after Kaiser Maximilian Lauf and didn’t come perfectly prepared for the 2020 race.
“I felt that I couldn’t perform the way I wanted last year, so Marcialonga became even more important to succeed in this winter. Now it feels fantastic to have won such a big and classic race.”
Did the race develop as you expected?
“Not really, considering the fresh snow. It becomes hard to get a gap in those conditions, but you just have to adapt to the circumstances. I think it was a race with an even and hard pace,” Korsgren says.
When the race was to be decided, up Cascata, it was about Lina and Team Koteng’s Emilie Fleten. Lina stayed behind Fleten all the climb. Just before the finish, Korsgren just flew away from Fleten and took her long-awaited victory.
After competitions three weekends in a row, there is now a gap in the event schedule. The next race is Jizerska 50 in the Czech Republic on Sunday, February 14th.
How and where do you spend your time until Jizerska?
“After Marcialonga, we went back to Toblach. We stay here until Thursday next week when we travel to Czechia. It’s perfect conditions to train here, and it’s nice with a weekend without a race. The body feels good, but mentally it is nice to have a break,” says Korsgren.
In Toblach, Team Ramudden has excellent training conditions this week.
Lina has received a detailed day by day training plan from her coach Mattias Reck in front of Jizerska.
“I trust and stick to the plan. Today (Wednesday), I did some intervals, and I think the body responded well.”
After Marcialonga, it is Lina and the male winner, Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, who has the chance of a Grand Slam (to win the four Grand Classis races: Marcialonga, Jizerska 50, Vasaloppet, and Birkebeinerrennet) and the opportunity collect the prize sum of 100,000 euro.
“Grand Classics gives an extra dimension and increased interest. It’s great. However, I have to take it race by race,” says Korsgren.
Lina has previously won Jizerska once, in 2019, and Vasaloppet twice, in 2018 and 2020. At Birken, however, her best result is sixth place from 2019.