By Teemu Virtanen
The new racing season is less than four months away. The Pro Team Tempo and Individual Prologue races will take place in Orsa Grönklitt, Sweden, on December 18 and 19. As always, Season XII is expected to be a thrilling roller-coaster ride throughout Central-Europe and Scandinavia.
However, Pro Team athletes have already started their racing season and are collecting points for the fight for the yellow and pink jerseys. By participating, they can get points to their Champion and Youth competition point accounts, and the winner of each race gets 50 points, which is the maximum for one athlete. In other words, if a Pro Team athlete wins a Challengers race, he or she has fulfilled his/her quota. The second-place skier gets 45 points, third place 40, fourth place 35 and so on. One can always try to improve his or her point status in another race.
Many Summer Challengers events have already happened, and four more are coming up. This weekend, there are two races in Sweden; Värnamorullen, 40 km, in Värnamo and Onepartnergroup-loppet, 42 km, in Östersund. Then, Lake Saimaa Roller-ski Marathon, 60 km, will take place in Imatra, Finland, on September 11 and 12, and Klarävlsloppet, 90 km - “the Vasaloppet on roller-skis”, in Karlstad, Sweden, is the last of the Challengers events a week after the one in Finland.
So far, five Challengers events came about this summer, Båstad-Mölle, 57 km, in Båstad, Sweden, Totenrullen, 50 km, in Raufoss, Norway, Vaajmarathon, 45 km, in Rötviken, Sweden, Alliansloppet, 48 km, in Trollhättan, Sweden, and Ring Frei, 42 km, in Salzburg, Austria.
In the Champion competition, there are now five male skiers with 50 points and two female ones. The 50-pointers are Andreas Nygaard, Team Ragde Charge, Stian Hoelgaard, Team Curira, Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, Max Novak, Team Ramudden, Thomas Bing, Team Zipps, Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden, and Emma Ribom, who represented Team Ragde Eiendom last season. In the Youth competition, there are only two names with 50 points. They are Max Novak and Emma Ribom.
When reading the standings on the Visma Ski Classics website, one must bear in mind that the Pro Team names associated with the athletes in question are the ones that they represented last winter, and the teams may change. In case of Hoelgaard, he used to be a member in Team Koteng, but his new team is Team Curira, but in the standings, he is under his former team. For Bing and Ribom, as of today there is no confirmation that they will belong to their respective teams this coming season. The Pro Team registrations will be finalized soon, after which it is publicly known which team each athlete represents.
Additionally, one should know that those athletes who have not represented any Pro Team in the past are not included in the current standings even if they have collected points in the Challengers events. Therefore, some winners or podium place skiers are missing when reading the lists.
All participants of each Challengers event receive points for their SC ranking, which they can check by logging in for free to MyPages.
The results and a list of all Challengers events with already confirmed dates for the season 2021/22 can be found on vismaskiclassics.com.
The current Champion and Youth standings can be found here: