This Tord Asle Gjerdalen-led Pro Team has now shrunk into a five-skier power unit. Gjerdalen, 39, is still going strong and aims to take home the Yellow Bib after the season.
This Norwegian Pro Team has a recruit from Sweden, Klas Nilsson, who finished 5th at Vasaloppet in 2020 and won the longest ski race in the world, Red Bull Nordenskiöldsloppet, in 2021. Nilsson’s last season was quite decent in terms of his results on the Pro Tour, as he finished among the best 28 skiers in every race he did, six in total. His best days were in Estonia and Norway, where he finished 6th at Tartu Maraton and 19th at Birkebeinerrennet.
Gjerdalen, on the other hand, fought for the Champion title but suffered from bad luck and some gear problems. However, he managed to be on the podium three times and won one of the Pro Tour stages, La Venosta Time Trial. Vasaloppet, which he won the year before, and Ylläs-Levi were disappointments to him since he reached Mora as the 20th and Levi as the 21st best skier. In the Champion competition, this two-time Champion finished 6th, and he won the Climb competition for the first time.
The three remaining team members may not be as well-known as the two mentioned above, but they are supporting the team the best they can. Thomas Ødegaarden can be a top-20 skier, but the prestigious top-10 club has been out of his reach so far. He was close at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, where he let only 11 skiers beat him. At the end of the season, his results dropped down a bit, and at Vasaloppet and Ylläs-Levi, he struggled to get into the best 60 skiers, 58th and 61st, respectively.
The two female athletes on the team are Victoria Nitteberg and Gina Flugstad Øistuen. The former is a 19-year-old skier who tried her wings at Reistadløpet and skied into the finish in Bardufoss as the 27th-best racer. The latter was a bit faster in that same race with her 22nd place. She partook in three other Pro Tour races last season and was close to the top 30 in all of them. At Holmenkollen Ski Maraton, she finished 2nd.
This Pro Team relies heavily on its two star skiers. Gjerdalen is still one of the best athletes in Ski Classics, and Nilsson has the potential for top results. Ødegaard shoots to finish within the best ten skiers next season, while the two women still need to gain a lot more experience and stamina to be among the best. The three male skiers will score points for the team, and most likely, they will remain among the best six teams. But some hungry groups are behind them, looking for a chance to take a step forward and be one of the best Pro Teams in Ski Classics.