Lager 157 Ski Team – Pro Team Presentation Season XIV
This Swedish group of skiers has been one of the top Pro Teams ever since they entered the arena. Their brightest star, Britta Johansson Norgren, retired with six Champion titles after last season, and no one can really replace her. But the team has always been more than just a platform for Britta to shine.
Emil Persson is the Champion from Season XI and finished second last season. He is one of the strongest favorites to win again, and he will do his utmost best to beat Andreas Nygaard, the reigning King of Ski Classics. He has nine stage wins in total and thus is among the Hall of Fame athletes. Last winter, he was on the top of the podium three times and possesses great sprinting ability, particularly at the end of races.
Last season, Runar Skaug Mathisen showed he was on his way to the top. He finished seventh in the Champion competition and was in the top 10 five times. The latter part of the season went really well for him as he was on the podium at Årefjällsloppet, 2nd, and close by at Tartu Maraton, 4th, and Ylläs-Levi, 5th. If he becomes a regular podium skier, he will climb closer to the top three in the Champion competition.
Marcus Johansson has been a trusted team member for a long time, and his best season took place in 2020 when he was on the podium twice. Last season, he was mostly in and out of the top 20, but three races went well: the Individual Prologue, 10th; Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 9th; and Marcialonga, 12th. The Champion fight seems to be a stretch for him, but he can get more top-10 finishes if he has a good day on the tracks.
Torleif Syrstad transferred to this team, and he is a great Vasaloppet skier as his two podium places prove, those are his only podium performances. Additionally, he has been in the top 20 at Vasaloppet every time since 2016, except in 2017, when he was 29th. In addition to his two podium places, he has pushed himself into the top 10 four times during his Ski Classics career since 2016. Last season, his best result was Ylläs-Levi, 10th, and Reistadløpet’s 11th place was the second best.
Nils Dahlsten, formerly Persson, is a solid top-30 skier, and he managed to be in the top 10 once, which occurred at Tartu Maraton, 9th. He also has two other top-10 finishes on his resume: 7th at Vasaloppet in 2020 and 8th at Vålådalsrennet in 2021. This 29-year-old skier is a great support skier for his team, and he may take some top-10 places next season if the perfect day comes along.
Alvar Myhlback is a rookie in the game, but he dipped his toe in the water this summer, finished 20th at Alliansloppet, and won Tanumsloppet, a Ski Classics Challengers event. He is only 16 years old, and he is extremely talented. If he stays healthy and his training proceeds well, he will be a new superstar of the sport.
No one expects Karolina Hedeström or Linnea Johansson to reach the same level as Johansson Norgren, at least not right away, but they are valuable players in the grand scheme of things.
Hedeström fights for the Youth title, and last season, she completed only four Pro Tour stages and managed to be among the best 16 skiers in every race. These results carried her to 5th place in the Youth competition last season. If she races more actively this winter, she will be strong in this category and bring in great points for the team.
Johansson is also a Youth skier, and she has raced more than her teammate since she took part in six Pro Tour stages. Her best result was 20th at Pustertaler Ski Marathon, while her worst was 31st at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge.
As always, this Pro Team has been and will be a force to be reckoned with, and they have set their sights on being the number one in the Ski Classics arena. Nothing less can satisfy these hungry skiers. There is Champion-level talent, great top-10/20 capacity, and tactical shrewdness on the team. The women are still very young and have years left to hone their skills. However, their contribution to the team will be much appreciated even this season since Johansson Norgren left a huge hole to fill.