By Teemu Virtanen
The roller-ski season continues as two Visma Ski Classics Challengers events will take place in Sweden. Tomorrow in Värnamo, Värnamorullen, 40 km in classic technique, starts at 12 pm CET (women) and continues at 2 pm (men). Then on Sunday, Onepartergroup-loppet, 42 km in classic technique, sets off at 10 am CET (both men and women) in Östersund.
The 5th edition of Värnamorullen will take place in Värnamo in the middle of southern Sweden. The event has now joined the Challengers series, and the organizers are happy to invite professional and recreational skiers along with young ski enthusiasts to enjoy typical “Småländsk” nature with meadows and small villages on the way. The course is quite flat with a good pavement and suits all levels of athletes. When the race is over, everyone is invited to a a special after-party at the organizers’ club house. Participants can relax after the raceby having good food and socializing with fellow ski fans. The race will broadcast live on the Värnamorullen Facebook site.
In the elite group, there are some strong female Pro Team athletes among the participants such as Lager 157 Ski Team’s Hanna Falk, who finished second at Alliansloppet last weekend, Britta Johansson Norgren, the five-time Visma Ski Classics Champion, Thea Krokan Murud, 5th at Alliansloppet, and Team Engcon’s Laila Kveli, who has won Vasaloppet twice in her career. In the men’s race, there are many local skiers who aim to be the king of Värnamo tomorrow.
Onepartnergroup-loppet is a completely new event arranged by the local ski club Östersunds SK, which is represented by many Swedish Pro Team athletes, such as Oskar Kardin, Emil Persson and Jenny Larsson, when they are not racing for their long distance teams.
The course stretches from Frösön up towards Krokom and then back south down to the national biathlon arena, Östersund Ski Stadium, where the IBU World Championship in biathlon took place back in 2019.
There are some interesting Pro Team names in the start list such as Sofie Elebro, Team ParkettPartner Sjusjøen’s skier who finished 8th at the Champion competition last winter, Karolina Hedeström, a new recruit in Team Eksjöhus, and Lina Korsgren, Team Ramudden’s star skier and the current Champion. In the men’s race, we can find such skiers as Axel Jutterström, Team Eksjöhus’ rising star, Oskar Kardin, Team Ragde Charge, who has now recovered from his crash on roller-skis and aims to win, and Max Novak, who has been almost invincible in the roller-ski racing season.