By Teemu Virtanen
Visma Ski Classics has grown in its 10-year journey to have both the Pro Tour and the Challengers series with international events and participants. The Pro Tour in particular has evolved into a cohesive set of excellent events in Central and Northern Europe, 12 races this season. Nine of these 12 events are now behind us and we are getting ready for the next one, which is the legendary Birkebeinerrennet in Norway on March 21.
In addition to Scandinavians and Central-Europeans, there are Pro Team Athletes from many countries that are not normally considered to be cross-country skiing nations. Among the more usual participants we also have skiers from Belgium, Spain and the USA to name a few. Now, an Australian athlete is joining the family as she will race Birkebeinerrennet.
Katerina Paul will represent TEAM BSV IBEX from Switzerland, and she has done many Alpen Cup and Australia/New Zealand Cup races and participated in the sprint competition at the World Cup in Davos this December. She also participated at the World Championships in Seefeld last winter and finished 4th at Kangaroo Hoppet in Australia in August – 42 km long distance ski race in free technique.