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Wild Rumpus Sports

Russians Dominate Demino Marathon; Nygaard, Korsgren Win Vasaloppet

The women’s podium at the 2018 Demino Ski Marathon in Rybinsk, Russia, with (from left to right) Olga Rotcheva in second, Svetlana Nikolaeva in first and Ekaterina Yadovina in third. (Photo: Worldloppet)

Demino Ski Marathon

The sixth stage of the FIS Worldloppet Cup, the Demino Ski Stadium, took place Saturday, March 3 in Rybinsk, Russia. On the men’s side, there was only one point separating current series leader Gerard Agnellet over his Team Haute-Savoie teammate Ivan Perrillat Boiteux. From the start it was clear that the Russian skiers were going to try to hold home-field advantage, according to a Worldloppet press release. Russia’s Andrey Melnichenko, Evgeniy Dementiev and Alexander Legkov kept the pace high and led most of the race. It came down to a sprint finish with Melnichenko winning in 2:00:54.3, just 0.2 seconds over fellow Russians Nikolay Khokhryakov in second and Dementiev in third (+0.5).  Perrillat Boiteux finished eighth (+3.3) while Agnellet finished 15th (+11.3), putting Perrillat Boiteux 15 points ahead in the overall standings. Loic Guigonnet (Team Haute-Savoie) finished the day in ninth (+4.5) and currently sits in third in the overall standings.

In the women’s race, the finish came down to a photo finish. After review, Svetlana Nikolaeva was deemed the winner in 2:12:00.9. Olga Rocheva placed second (+0.01) and Ekaterina Yadovina finished third (+1.1). Overall Worldloppet leader Aurelie Dabudyk placed sixth (+2:12.7) ahead of  Maria Gräfnings, who is second in the overall standings, in seventh (+4:41.5). The third overall ranked skier, Rahel Imoberdorf did not race. The women’s standings did not change with Dabudyk in first, Gräfnings in second, 15 points back, and Imoberdorf in third.

The final Worldloppet race will be the Engadin Skimarathon on March 11 in Switzerland.

Results: MenWomen


The men’s podium at the 2018 Swedish Vasaloppet, with (From left to right) Bob Impola in second (l), Andreas Nygarrd in first (c) and Stian Hoelgaard (r) in third place. (Photo: Visma Ski Classics)


The seventh stage of the Visma Ski Classics took place on Sunday, March 4 with the 94th edition of the 90-kilometer Vasaloppet in Sweden. The conditions were a bit slow as it snowed throughout the morning. In the men’s race, Jan Šrail (Bauer Ski Team) and Joar Andreas Thele (Lyn Ski Moseteråsen) broke away during the first climb after 3 k and skied together until around 60 k, where Šrail began to fall off the pace. But about 10 k later, the chase pack caught both Šrail and Thele, and not long after, Tore Bjørseth Berdal (Team Koteng) put in a huge surge and was able to gap the group by 50 seconds. However, with 4 k to go, the pack had latched back onto Berdal, and the race came down to a sprint finish. Andreas Nygaard (Team Santander) was able to pull off the win with a time of 4:24:36.8, 2.8 seconds ahead of Bob Impola (Team Serneke) in second and 3.6 seconds ahead of Stian Hoelgaard (Team Koteng) in third. Thele finished 23rd (+3:19.5), while the overall men’s leader Tord Asle Gjerdalen (Team Santander) finished ninth (+6.0) to keep his lead over Nygaard and Morten Eide Pedersen (Team BN Bank) in third in the overall standings. Pedersen finished 15th (+7.9) on Sunday.

“I am so thankful for this win,” Nygaard said, according to a Visma Ski Classics press release. “It was my main goal this season and now I am full of confidence for the coming events!”

In the women’s race, current overall leader Britta Johansson Norgren (Lager 157 Ski Team) appeared to be conserving her energy for the end, but was unable to hang on to the pack as it pulled away from her near the finish. Astrid Øyre Slind (Team Koteng), who was coming off shoulder surgery, led the race until the last 8 k, where Katerina Smutna (Bauer Ski Team) and Lina Korsgren (Åre Ski Club) reeled her in. Korsgren was able to pull out the win in 4:41:50.7, while Øyre Slind placed second (+4:42) and Smutna ended up third (+5:58.5), ahead of Johansson Norgren in fourth (+10:00.5).

“I cannot believe this, to win Vasaloppet was my goal for this season and I am so happy right now,” Korsgren said.

Johansson Norgren was able to hold on her lead over Smutna by 530 points, and Sara Lindborg (Team Serneke) who is 1475 points back in third.

The next Ski Classics race is the Norwegian Birkebeinerrennet which will take place on March 17.

Results: Men | Women

— Ian Tovell