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 Climb bib favorites are.
The squared patterned “Lumberjack” Climb bib is worn by the female and male Pro Tour athletes with the most current Climb points before each event. There are 0-2 Climb checkpoints in the events. The seven fastest women and seven fastest men split times at the Climb checkpoint lines will get points. The overall winner is the athlete with the most Climb points after the season in each gender.
For Season XIV, there is a new category, the Iconic Climbs, to enhance the interest around the climbs and reward the strongest athletes slightly more. The Iconic Climb points give 50% more points than a Category 1 Climb, 45 points instead of 30 points in the Climb competition.
This season has four Iconic Climbs, two in the Alps (Prato Piazza at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge and Cascata at Marcialonga) and two in Scandinavia (Raudfjellet at Birkebeinerrennet and Orta at Reistadløpet).
The Climb competition is tight this season. Tord Asle Gjerdalen, Team XPND Fuel, and Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Aker Dæhlie, are the reigning champions in this competition. But after the Iconic Climb last weekend at Marcialonga, Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, with 122 points, and Ida Dahl, Team Engcon, with 189 points, are carrying the bib in the Climb Competition.
Now, who are the favorites for the Climb overall competition Season XIV?
Climb Favorites Women – Ski Classics Season XIV – After Marcialonga
After Marcialonga, Ida Dahl, Team Encon, leads the Climb bib competition with 189 points. Emilie Fleten, Team Ramudden, is in second place with 109 points, closely followed by Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Aker Dæhlie, in third with 108 points.
The Climb competition on the women’s side is intense this winter. Ida Dahl, Team Engcon, Emilie Fleten, Team Ramudden, and Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Aker Dæhlie, are the three biggest favorites and are having a good fight for the lumberjack jersey.
Ida is adding more points to the Climb ranking so far, 189. During Season XIV, Dahl had 30 points at Bad Gastein Criterium; 60 at La Venosta Criterium; 30 at Pustertaler Ski Marathon; 24 at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge; and 45 points at Marcialonga.
Emilie has 109 Climb points so far: 12 points from Bad Gastein Criterium; 39 from La Venosta Criterium; 23 from Pustertaler Ski Marathon; and 35 from Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge.
And Astrid got Climb points in just three events this season, adding a total of 108 points: 24 at Bad Gastein Criterium; 39 at La Venosta Criterium: and 45 at Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge.
The three names are most likely on the top of the list at the end of Season XIV. Ida Dahl was strong early in the season and got maximum points at Cascata Iconic Climb. Emilie Fleten was fourth in this competition last season and is looking forward to being on top performance after recovering from health problems. Astrid Øyre Slind, the reigning Climb champion, is a climber extraordinaire and has often conjured decisive breakaways on long climbs.
One possible challenger could be Magni Smedås, Team Eksjöhus, the fresh winner of Marcialonga last weekend. Additionally, it will be interesting to see what Jenny Larsson, Team Ragde Charge, can offer in the second part of Ski Classics Season XIV.
Climb Bib Favorites Women – Ski Classics Season XIV
Climb Favorites Men – Ski Classics Season XIV – After Marcialonga
In the men’s side after Marcialonga, Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, leads the Climb competition with 122 points. Johan Hoel, Team Ragde Charge, is in second place with 90 points, followed by Herman Paus, Team Ramudden, in third place, with 83 points.
The top 3 are the strongest candidates to dethrone Tord Asle Gjerdalen, Team XPND Fuel, who is in fourth place with 69 points.
So far in the season, Emil has added the most points in the Climb competition, 122, even though his focus is on the Yellow Champion bib. Persson had 24 points from Bad Gastein Criterium; 13 from La Venosta Criterium; 16 from Pustertaler Ski Marathon; 45 from Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge; and 24 points from Marcialonga.
Johan got Climb points in just two events this season, adding a total of 90 points: 30 at Bad Gastein Criterium; and 60 points at La Venosta Criterium.
Herman has 83 Climb points so far: 12 points from La Venosta Criterium; 23 from Pustertaler Ski Marathon; 13 from Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge; and 35 points from Marcialonga.
Apart from Tord, the reigning Climb champion, who sits in 4th place overall, another great contender should be mentioned: Kasper Stadaas, Team Ragde Charge. Kasper has 64 points and is in 5th place in the Climb competition, but he could be higher if he decides to go for the jersey.
As we can see, many great Pro Tour athletes can ski hard on long climbs, but they need to focus seriously on winning this category because the challengers are quick to take the Climb points.