Marcialonga marked the seventh Ski Classics Pro Tour event last weekend, and now the Ski Classics Season XIV is halfway through. ProXCskiing reviews the favorites for the various overall competitions, and today you can find out who the Champion bib favorites are.
The Yellow Champion bib is worn by the male and female athletes with the most current Champion points before each event. The overall winner is the athlete with the most Champion points after the season in each gender. Athletes’ single best result from a Ski Classics Challengers event is included.
The Champion competition is naturally the most prestigious in Ski Classics, and the field becomes more competitive yearly. There are many favorites to name, but only one man and one woman can win their respective categories. One must be consistent, in great shape throughout the winter, and stay healthy until the end of the season. Of the two reigning Champions, only Andreas Nygaard can defend his title since Britta Johansson Norgren bid farewell to racing and retired with six Champion titles.
Last Sunday, Marcialonga saw Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, and Magni Smedås, Team Eksjöhus, mastering their respective race and winning the 50th edition of Marcialonga, the seventh event of Ski Classics and first Grand Classics Season XIV.
When we look at the Ski Classics general classification after Marcialonga, the Yellow Champion Bib Competition belongs to Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, and Magni Smedås, Team Eksjöhus.
Now, who are the favorites for the Champion overall competition Season XIV?
Champion Favorites Women – Ski Classics Season XIV – After Marcialonga
In the women’s overall, after Marcialonga, Magni Smedås, Team Eksjöhus, after winning the first Grand Classics event Season XIV, is the new leader with 1060 points, closely followed by Ida Dahl, Team Engcon, with 1045 points. Third place overall is Jenny Larsson, Team Ragde Charge, with 909 points.
The Champion competition on the women’s side is intense this winter. Magni Smedås, Team Eksjöhus, Ida Dahl, Team Engcon, and Jenny Larsson, Team Ragde Charge, are the top 3 in the ranking and are some of the favorites for the Yellow jersey.
Magni is a solid top-5 skier with improving performance after each event. During Season XIV, she was in 4th place at Bad Gastein Criterium, 5th at La Venosta Criterium, 4th at Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 4th at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, 3rd at Engadin La Diagonela, and 1st place at Marcialonga.
Ida had a strong start for the season, with three victories in the first three events: Bad Gastein Criterium, La Venosta Criterium, and Pustertaler Ski Marathon, but felt the form in the other two events she started: Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge (3rd place) and Marcialonga (4th position).
Jenny started in six individual Pro Tour events this season and showed some ups and downs in her performances. She was in 6th place at Bad Gastein Criterium, 2nd at La Venosta Criterium, 5th at Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 7th at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, 9th at Engadin La Diagonela, and 3rd at Marcialonga.
Of these three Pro Tour skiers, Magni Smedås, Team Eksjöhus, is the most consistent so far, so much so that she is the current leader of the ranking. Some names of Pro Tour athletes who can get enough points to be in the top 3 at the Champion bib after the season are also worth mentioning.
Kati Roivas, Team Næringsbanken Stora Enso, is a consistent top 6 this season, with her best result as a 4th place at Engadin La Diagonela. The second and final part of the Ski Classics Season XIV is promising for the Finnish Pro Tour athlete.
Emilie Fleten, Team Ramudden, is now sitting in the 5th position but was ill and missed Marcialonga. If she returns to her previous form, she can fight for more Champion points and improve her ranking.
Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Aker Dæhlie, had great results this season (Bad Gastein Criterium – 2nd; La Venosta Criterium – 3rd; Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge – 1st; and Engadin La Diagonela – 1st) but is sharing her focus with the traditional cross-country skiing World Cup and World Championships. If she manages to reconcile all these challenges, she will have the potential to accumulate a good score at the end of the season.
These women are powerful and possess the winning mentality that a Champion needs. Therefore, consistency is the key factor this season, and the one who is the most stable will win the overall competition.
Youth Bib Favorites Women – Ski Classics Season XIV
Champion Favorites Men – Ski Classics Season XIV – After Marcialonga
After Marcialonga, in the men’s battle overall, the Yellow bib rests comfortably on Emil Persson’s shoulders. Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, leads the Champion competition with 1400 points after another win last weekend (his sixth win this season).
Second place overall is Morten Eide Pedersen, Team Eksjöhus, with 791 points, followed by Amund Riege, Team Ramudden, with 733 points.
Naturally, Emil Persson is the number one favorite to win the Champion competition on the men’s side. Still, he will face hungry rivals who want to take the Yellow bib if possible. Persson possesses a fantastic set of qualities that any Pro Tour skier would be happy to have. He has endurance, speed, a great tactic, improved uphill skills, and a capacity to attack if needed. This Lager 157 Ski Team has won all individual events this season and is the number one favorite to take home the Yellow bib.
His closest rivals are all around 700 points in the ranking. The four biggest contenders to dethrone Persson are Morten Eide Pedersen, Team Eksjöhus, Amund Riege, and Heman Paus, both from Team Ramudden, and Max Novak, Team Aker Dæhlie.
Morten has had five top-10 finishes this season so far. He started the winter with a 6th place at Bad Gastein Criterium and a 5th at La Venosta Criterium. Later on, he was 8th at Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 12th at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, 6th at Engadin La Diagonela, and 4th place at Marcialonga last weekend.
Amund was 9th at Bad Gastein Criterium, 10th at La Venosta Criterium, 4th at Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 19th at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, 5th at Engadin La Diagonela, and 6th at Marcialonga.
Herman has had four top-10 finishes this season so far. He started the winter with a 21st place at Bad Gastein Criterium but improved from there: 8th at La Venosta Criterium, 7th at Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 5th at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, 11th at Engadin La Diagonela and 5th at Marcialonga.
Max has had some highs and lows this season. At Bad Gastein Criterium, he was in 11th place. After that, he was 3rd at La Venosta Criterium, 21st at Pustertaler Ski Marathon, 18th at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, 2nd at Engadin La Diagonela, and 13th at Marcialonga.
As we can see, based on past results, Persson is far ahead of any of his rivals. But any of the mentioned skiers can be in the top 3 of the Champion class.
Champion Bib Favorites Men – Ski Classics Season XIV