The first event of season IX is soon here! During the dryland period several changes has been made within the Pro Teams. Transferred athletes, newcomers and the first-ever swiss Pro Team being registered!
Text: Erik Wickström
PETTER ELIASSEN is back!
The locomotive from Alta way up in Norway couldn’t stand life without Visma Ski Classics. We are all happy to have the two-time yellow bib champion back in the circuit, this time on Team BN Bank. Now Tord Asle Gjerdalen will get some competition in races with high speed from start to finish.
JUSTYNA KOWALCZYK has announced her retirement as a professional skier, but it hasn’t really happened. The former Vasaloppet winner was in second place in Fiemme Rollerski Cup in September, ahead of strong skiers such as Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes and Maria Gräfnings. Now she is entering a new season for Team Trentino Robinson Trainer. Maybe a decline in training volume will be the key to success in Visma Ski Classics for Kowalczyk?
JOAR THELE has been recruited by Team Ragde Eiendom. The earlier world juniors champion in kayaking was in a long breakaway in Vasaloppet this winter. Five years ago, Thele was part of Team Xtra Personell, consequently he knows the Aukland brothers. Thele is also a strong runner with several victories in marathons and uphillraces, such as Grefsenkollen Opp.
MARIA GRÄFNINGSwill gladly enter a Visma Ski Classics from the start of the season. Last year she participated in four events (all top 10) and _ nished 15th in the overall standings. Now she has been recruited by Team Parkettpartner and she has done well in the prestigious rollerski races during the dryland season. She beat Britta Johansson Norgren and Astrid Øyre Slind in Alliansloppet and outperformed Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes in Olaf Skoglunds Minneløp.
LAGER 157 SKI TEAMhas for once several changes in the squad. Fredrik Byström has retired and the duo Jimmie Johnsson and Oscar Persson are no longer on the team. Instead they have recruited Elin Mohlin, Emil Persson and Andreas Holmberg. Interestingly, Holmberg had one more year left on his contract for Team Serneke. Maybe he got an irresistible offer from the Swedish team based in Ulricehamn?
LUKAS BAUER will continue to taper his own skiing. Last year he raced nine Visma Ski
Classics event. This winter he will be more of a team director and less of an athlete.
SARA LINDBORGwho raced for Team Serneke last season has retired. She was fourth overall last season and can hit the couch with seven podium visits in Visma Ski Classics.
REBECCA IMMONEN is an interesting newcomer on Russian Marathon Team. She is a Finish junior nationals champion with limited experience of long-distance skiing. Could she collect some points in the youth competition?
TEAM RAMUDDEN is the name of Vasaloppet winner Lina Korsgren’s team. It is a small team with Korsgren as the given star.
SERAINA BONER is new on the French Team Jobstation Rossignol. The three-time yellow bib
winner from Switzerland hasn’t been on the podium since Årefjällsloppet in 2016. Could a new team help her up there again?
BSV PRO TEAM NORDICis the first pro team from Switzerland. The newly formed team is stepping into the Visma Ski Classics arena hoping to get some top 15 positions.
SLAVIA POJISTOVNA TEAMfrom Czech Republic with Stanislav Rezac in the front has the highest average age among the pro teams at the start of the season – 43 years. By the way, how long will we have Rezac (born in -73) and Anders Aukland (-72) in the elite group?
The Visma Ski Classics IX season starts 30th of November with the Pro Team Tempo in Livingo. The official guide for season IX- Pro Skiing, is now in stores in Sweden and Norway. For other countries place your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.