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Events & Results
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The U23 World Champion Made Her Debut At Birkebeinerrennet: “I Respect The Long-Distance Skiers”

Kristin Austgulen Fosnæs is used to skiing much shorter distances. On Saturday, she and several traditional cross-country skiers took the challenge and raced Birkebeinerrennet.

Photo: Marius Simensen/Bildbyrån

Kristin Austgulen Fosnæs during the World Cup in Drammen, Norway.

“It was tough. It was cool to try, but I respect those who go long-distance skiing,” said the Team Eksjöhus Pro Team athlete to Langrenn.com after Birkebeinerrennet.

Although the 22-year-old describes the climb over the mountain as a challenging experience, she crossed the finish line in 14th place, just over 16 minutes behind the winner Astrid Øyre Slind. As a result, she became the best traditional cross-country skier that usually does not compete in long distances.

“I just tried my best. I didn’t know what I was getting into, and I’d never done such a long ski race. I skied a lot alone, but then I could ski at my own pace,” she says about the race tactics.

And like everyone else, it was just a matter of looking forward to Lake Sjusjøen and the descents that awaited after that.

“I was looking forward to the downhill after Lake Sjusjøen, but then I had cramps. My knees and thighs hurt, so it was a painful experience.”

Austgulen Fosnæs has had a solid season. The best result came during the U23 World Championships in Canada in January. There she became World Champion in the 20km classic race. After that, she was on the podium at the Scandinavian and Norwegian Cup.

Last week she also had the chance to ski the 50km race in Holmenkollen, finishing in the 21st position. 

Kristin Austgulen Fosnæs also raced the Holmenkollen 50km race. Photo: Modica/NordicFocus.

Why do you think more traditional cross-country skiers choose to start Birkebeinerrennet?

“It fits very well with our schedule. Only Norwegian National Championships Part 2 is left, so it was nice to try something else.”

Last weekend’s winner, Astrid Øyre Slind, has proven that combining long-distance and traditional cross-country skiing with good results is possible.

“Maybe this is what I needed to get in great shape. I think I need something like this. It was cool trying to go as fast as possible and for so long.”

Next up is Reistadløpet on April 1 and Summit 2 Senja on April 2. The events mark the 13th and 14th Ski Classics stages and the final weekend of Ski Classics Season XIV.

The Season XIV of Ski Classics Pro Tour consists of 14 events on 10 event weekends in 6 different countries. 

Ski Classics Pro Tour Season XIV (2022/2023)

  • Event 1: December 10, 2022 – Bad Gastein PTT, Bad Gastein, Austria, 15km
  • Event 2: December 11, 2022 – Bad Gastein Criterium, Bad Gastein, Austria, 35km
  • Event 3: December 17, 2022 – La Venosta Criterium, Val Venosta, Italy, 36km 
  • Event 4: January 14, 2023 – Pustertaler Ski Marathon, Sexten, Italy, 62km
  • Event 5: January 15, 2023 – Prato Piazza Mountain Challenge, Niederdorf, Italy, 32km
  • Event 6: January 21, 2023 – Engadin La Diagonela, Engadin Valley, Switzerland, 48km 
  • Event 7: January 29, 2023 – Marcialonga, Trentino, Italy, 70km
  • Event 8: February 12, 2023 – Jizerská50, Bedřichov, Czech Republic, 50km
  • Event 9: February 18, 2023 – Grönklitt Criterium, Orsa Grönklitt, Sweden, 50km
  • Event 10: February 19, 2023 – Grönklitt ITT, Orsa Grönklitt, Sweden, 12km
  • Event 11: March 5, 2023 – Vasaloppet, Sälen-Mora, Sweden, 90km
  • Event 12: March 18, 2023 – Birkebeinerrennet, Rena-Lillehammer, Norway, 54km
  • Event 13: April 1, 2023 – Reistadløpet, Setermoen-Bardufoss, Norway, 40km
  • Event 14: April 2, 2023 – Summit 2 Senja, Bardufoss- Finnsnes, Norway, 67km

More information about the Ski Classics Pro Tour you can find at skiclassics.com.

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