By Pro XC Skiing Editorial Staff
Today, one of the world’s biggest roller-ski events Blinkfestivalen, or BLINK21 in short, ended with a unique 8-hour race in a mixed relay format, Blink Classics Team Challenge. Three-skier teams with at least one female athlete in each competed to find out who can go the longest distance in those eight hours.
Every member had to go one lap first and then the teams were able to decide who goes and when, but every skier needed to go at least four laps. The lap used for the race was 10,3 km and quite flat. Women had faster wheels than men.
After a tight fight, the winning team was Team Ramudden (Lina Korsgren, Max Novak, Johannes Eklöf). They were followed by Team Eksjöhus (Linn Sömskar, Axel Jutterström, Morten Eide Pedersen) and Lager 157 Ski Team (Britta Johansson Norgren, Emil Persson, Marcus Johansson), respectively. On the last lap (20th) about four kilometers before the finish, Max Novak was able to leave Axel Jutterström behind and take his team to victory.
Additionally, there was a lot of media hype around a surprise comeback athlete. Petter Northug, 13 World Championship and two Winter Olympic gold medals, raced together with Petter Skinstad and Barbro Sætha, but they were not able to fight for the top places. Petter told the media that he has plans to take part in Visma Ski Classics, probably even next season. He admitted that he is willing to train hard and face the best long distance skiers in the world.