The first Grand Classics event this season, Marcialonga, takes place on Sunday. Last year, Visma Ski Classics introduced this concept with prize money of 100.000 euros for completing a Grand Slam. Get to know the details for Season XII.
The Grand Classics events are the four largest and most prestigious events in Visma Ski Classics: Marcialonga, this Sunday, January 30, Jizerská50, Vasaloppet, and Birkebeinerrennet. If you win all of them in the same season, you complete a Grand Slam, which holds 100.000 euros in the prize money pot.
A new feature to the Grand Classics concept Season XII is the addition of a ‘Visma Grand Classics Trophy’ award. The female and male skier collecting most total champion points in the four Grand Classics events will be awarded 7.500 euros each. This will add even more excitement to the biggest events of the Pro Tour.
The races in the Grand Classics will have a higher value than the other events in the Tour. There will be 300 points for the victories where the other events in the Pro Tour hand out 200 or 100 points, and there will also be a more considerable prize sum.
The Grand Classics events will have a minimum of 30.000 euros in total prize money. Pro Tour events have a minimum of 20.000 euros for 200 points events and 10.000 euros for 100 points events.
Historically, no one has ever completed a Grand Slam, winning all four Grand Classics events. The Italian Cristina Paluselli has twice been close to reaching this goal. In 2005 she only missed winning Vasaloppet, and the year after, she only missed Birkebeinerrennet. The Swede Sven Åke Lundbäck has also been close. He won all races but Jizerská50 in 1981.
SEVERAL CONTENDERS FOR SEASON XII
After an exciting start to the season, Visma Ski Classics continues this weekend with its seventh event of Season XII, and the battle for the victory promises to be fierce.
Marcialonga, the 70-kilometer classic race, not only marks the first Grand Classics event this season but for the Sunday’s winners, the start of the long road to the Grand Slam triumph.
Strong names this season that could complete a Grand Slam, just to name a few, are Max Novak, Ida Dahl and Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden; Tord Asle Gjerdalen and Emilie Fleten, Team XPND Fuel; Stian Hoelgaard, Team Curira; Kasper Stadaas and Andreas Nygaard, Team Ragde Charge; Astrid Øyre Slind and Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Team Koteng Eidissen; and Britta Johansson Norgren and Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team.
For Emil Persson, to be a Grand Slam winner is not an easy task.
“Except being able to win each individual race, you need to be in good shape for one and a half months in a row. That is not an easy task. Of course, you need a good summer training, but I also think you need to get a good start of the season and to find the flow,” Persson says and continues:
“For me, I think the key to doing good results throughout the season was that I found the balance of training in-between the races. If you train too hard in the middle of the season, you burn out. If you train too easily, you don’t last the whole season. It is a fine line.”
Now, we can only wait, as only time will tell who will be the first Pro Tour skier to win a Grand Slam.
THE GRAND CLASSICS
- Location: Trentino, Italy
- Date: Sunday, January 30
- Start Time: Women 8:05 CET / Men 8:00 CET
- Distance: 70km Classic Technique
- Location: Bedrichov, Czech Republic
- Date: Sunday, February 13
- Start Time: Women 8:50 CET / Men 9:00 CET
- Distance: 50km Classic Technique
- Location: Sälen-Mora, Sweden
- Date: Sunday, March 6
- Start Time: Women 8:00 CET / Men 8:00 CET
- Distance: 90km Classic Technique
- Location: Rena-Lillehammer
- Date: Saturday, March 19
- Start Time: Women 8:00 CET / Men 7:45 CET
- Distance: 54km Classic Technique
Next up in the Visma Ski Classics is Marcialonga. The 70-kilometer classic race takes place in Italy on January 30, 2022.