Original text by Johan Trygg (längd.se), English text by Teemu Virtanen, Picture by Tony Welam/Klarälvsloppet
Klas Nilsson, Team Curira, became the second Swede with his tenth place at Klarälvsloppet on Sunday. A positive message after a summer of injuries. In 2020, Klas finished 5th at Vasaloppet, and Jizerska Padesatka’s 12th place was his best result last season.
“A month ago, I hadn't double-poled in five weeks," says Klas Nilsson.
This spring and early summer, Klas had problems with his elbow and much of the training was done in skating both in the spring and at the beginning of the roller-ski season. As the elbow got better, another accident took place.
“I broke two ribs in July. I had to cycle and run a lot, even with poles, but I couldn't double-pole. When we were at a camp in Lycksele on August 20, it was the first time I did an intensive double-poling workout on roller-skis. At that camp, I couldn’t keep up with the other guys, but now I feel much better. This was the first real roller-ski race for me this year since at Båstad-Mölle on June 5 I was in very bad shape. Now at Klarälvsloppet, it went all right, but I had to work hard at the end and couldn’t really fight for the top positions.”
Klas was the 10th man at the finish and the second Swede, 37 seconds behind the winner Max Novak but only about seven seconds behind Andreas Nygaard who finished third. Just before him, Klas had six more Norwegians; Stian Berg, Petter Northug, Stian Hoelgaard, Magnus Vesterheim, Kasper Stadaas and Vetle Thyli.
How was the race from your perspective?
"We were a little worried for a while when we heard that Haakon Holden and Stian Berg had a lead of 3.40. Stian Hoelgaard and Nygaard tried to catch up, and it took a little bit of effort. Later, we got a breakaway that Stian and I were part of. It was a bit of fun, but I got a little worn out by it. After that, it went quite calmly for a while, but we tried to stay far ahead in case something should happen. When we had about 10 km to go, Max Novak made his move, and only Simen Engebretsen Nordli could follow, and I stayed with all the Norwegians. I'm quite happy with the result given the problems I had to face earlier this summer," Nilsson concludes.