Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Koteng Eidissen, has taken the most significant career victories during Season XII. The wins at Vasaloppet and Birken stand out, but it was not enough for a total win in Visma Ski Classics. However, the 34-year-old won the Climb bib competition.
“It was important for me to show that I can go fast when it matters. I have not really done that before,” says Øyre Slind.
Astrid Øyre Slind can look back on a solid season. In fact, Astrid has been on the podium in nine of the ten races she completed this winter. In the tenth, Jizerská50, she was fourth.
She missed La Venosta and Engadin La Diagonela due to Covid-19 and didn’t finish Tartu Maraton. But then she had a strong comeback with three straight victories at Vasaloppet, Birkebeinerrennet, and Årefjällsloppet. Astrid also won the Prologue in Orsa Grönklitt.
Now you’ve had time to think about the season. How would you sum it up?
“It has been a very good season because I succeeded in the big races. So, I am happy with the results, although I would like to have been healthy all winter so I could fight for the yellow bib. But you don’t always get everything.”
But these victories in the Grand Classic races are great!
“Yes, it was important for me to show that I can go fast when it matters. I have not really done that before. I have also been on the podium almost all the time.”
In the season finale, Ylläs-Levi, Astrid finished second after a final sprint against Britta Johansson Norgren.
How was the fight against Britta in the last race of her career?
“It was a special race because it was such soft snow. It wasn’t easy to use the hills and go fast there. It was just a matter of getting up there.”
“When Britta and I come together into the final stretch, I tried to sprint, but it was a clear victory for her. But it was fun for Britta to win her last race. That she got to finish on top, I think, was awesome.”
Next season when neither Britta Johansson Norgren nor Lina Korsgren is there anymore. How will it be?
“I have competed against them for so many years now, and it will feel special when they are no longer there. But Ida (Dahl) has set the level this winter, and Emilie (Fleten) is also at a high level, so it will not be easy next winter. But when two such strong profiles end their career simultaneously, it will be noticed in many ways.”
Have you had a nice Easter?
“Yes, really. It was far above expectations. There has been almost summer heat here in Norway.”
What are your plans for next season?
“My training before last season was good, so there will be no major changes. I will work on my speed and try to be a little bit faster so I can decide races in a sprint finish. Of course, I want to go for the yellow bib, and then I must stay healthy. To prove that I can last an entire season.”
Will there be any more races for you this spring?
“Yes, I travel north and will race Kobberløpet on Saturday,” Øyre Slind concludes.