– That pesky stomach virus keeps going around. While there’s no telling whether Petter Northug has the same illness as most every member of the U.S. Ski Team has been dealing with, or if he’s got what Oskar Svärd has, but either way, he’s out.
Both Northug (NOR) and Svärd (SWE) won’t be competing in the Vasaloppet from Sälen to Mora, Sweden, on Sunday because of stomach problems. Both had hoped to contend with each other for the title.
Northug told Langrenn that his head coach, Trond Nystad, and team doctor, Knut Gabrielsen, decided he should skip the 90 k race. It had been one of his season-long focuses.
“It’s a pity not to go Vasaloppet as it was my main goal after Tour de Ski,” Northug said. “I was looking forward to measuring myself with best long-distance specialists, especially as I did well in Marcialonga.”
The three-time Vasaloppet winner, Svärd won’t start because of a stomach parasite that has affected him since January, according to Team Exspirit.
“Vasaloppet is the race that I am constantly dreaming about,” Svärd said. ”For the first time in 13 years not being able to start on Sunday feels unreal.”
– While the king of nordic skiing and his Vasaloppet rival won’t be there, a couple of members from Great Britain’s Royal Family will be. That’s right, the famed sister of newlywed Kate, Pippa Middleton and her brother James will be participating in the 90 k on Sunday.
Nearly 16,000 racers are registered for the event. The Middleton siblings (minus Kate) are doing it for a charity called Magic Breakfast.
– Lukas Bauer is done for the season after discovering a fatigue fracture in his heel bone. Currently 10th in the World Cup sprint standings, the Czech wrote on his website that a second MRI revealed the diagnosis. While disappointed, he was happy to have discovered this source of the pain that plagued him since the Nove Mesto World Cup.