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1 Emil Persson 25,914,004
2 Emilie Fleten 25,906,053
3 Ida Dahl 25,349,402
4 Kasper Stadaas 25,223,899
5 Andreas Nygaard 24,934,569
6 Johan Hoel 24,707,367
7 Max Novak 24,166,685
8 Magni Smedås 24,096,434
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19 Alvar Myhlback 23,165,443
20 Petter Stakston 23,082,621
21 Magnus Vesterhe... 22,979,229
22 Karstein Johaug 22,772,809
23 Tord Asle Gjerd... 22,630,484
24 Johannes Eklöf 22,542,970
25 Thomas Bing 22,374,724
26 Astrid Øyre Sli... 22,119,196
27 Kati Roivas 21,625,092
28 Jeremy Royer 21,459,378
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Top Favorites for Reistadløpet

Reistadløpet is the next event on the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour calendar. Located in Northern Norway, it is one of the most demanding courses for long-distance skiers, and no one has won using only double-poling. Who are the favorites?

Photo: Magnus Östh/Visma Ski Classics

Who will win Reistadløpet?

We analyze the top favorites to win the race and the chances to watch someone double-poling to the victory.

Going through arctic landscapes and steep mountains, Reistadløpet is known for being one of the toughest races on the Pro Tour calendar. Despite being used to race using only the double-poling technique, many Pro Tour skiers choose to use kick wax in this course due to its steep uphills. 

No one has ever won the using double-poling technique, but as Emil Persson, Team Lager 157 Ski Team, states, “double-poling has developed a lot since the last edition of Reistadløpet in 2019.”

Moreover, there will be some of the best World Cup skiers at the start, like Ebba Andersson, Lager 157 Ski Team, and Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget, Team Eksjöhus, among other familiar names. These skiers might pose a challenge to long-distance skiers because of the course characteristics: it is hilly, like what these athletes are used to.

So, who is this year’s top favorite to win the race? Will we watch long-distance skiers double-poling to the victory, or will it be the traditional skiers taking advantage of the grip and the hilly sections?

Favorite Female Pro Tour Skiers To Win Reistadløpet

On the women’s side, there will be an exciting fight. It is unlikely to see someone double-poling to victory since that has not been done on the men’s side yet. But anything can happen, and Astrid Øyre Slind, Team Koteng Eidissen, has made history being the first woman to win the Birkebeinerrennet without kick-wax. Could she repeat that achievement at Reistadløpet?

“It depends on the conditions. Maybe there is a possibility. We’ll see. But it will surely be a tough race, and Therese Johaug (early today was informed that Johaug will not start at Reistadløpet) will be in the lead from the start. I also think Ebba Anderson can make the race fast,” Astrid said on Wednesday during the race press conference.

Another top contender is Ida Dahl, Team Ramudden, who showed that hilly courses fit her well at the beginning of the season. But this time, hills can be even steeper, so she is unsure what skiing technique she will use during the race.

“I hope to perform well on the uphills. At the beginning of the season, I showed that the tough courses suit me well, so if everything goes well, the racecourse me will fit me well,” said Dahl during the press conference.

“I have been training diagonal striding and double-poling, so I keep every door open. We will see how the conditions are on Saturday.”

Britta Johansson Norgren, Lager 157 Ski Team, is a consistent skier with top results. Coming from 2nd place in both Vasaloppet and Årefjällsloppet, Britta believes that long uphills are not the best course for her, but she feels pretty strong.

“It depends on the skiing conditions to wax or not. Long uphills are not my best, but I am feeling quite strong”, Britta says. 

Britta also stated that her main rivals for this race are Therese Johaug and Astrid Øyre Slind. 

“Astrid is going through a solid phase. But the season is hard and long, and anything can happen at this time of the year.”

Finally, two World Cup skiers had high chances to win due to their elite level and the course characteristics: Therese Johaug, Team Ragde Charge, and Ebba Andersson, Lager 157 Ski Team. 

Both have won their national championships in the 30 km race this week. But earlier today, it was reported that Therese Johaug would not start at Reistadløpet. A sore ankle will prevent Johaug from getting revenge on Øyre Slind from Birkebeinerrennet.

Otherwise, Ebba Andersson is ready to compete for the victory at Reistadløpet.

Anderson has been taking it easy after her victory at the Swedish National Championship. After having a long trip to northern Norway, she has just easy workouts to recover. 

“I know for sure this course is challenging, but I will try to do my best to keep up with the other girls. I know this course suits Therese very well, and I know that Astrid is in good shape. It will be a tough competition,” said Andersson at the press conference on Wednesday. 

Favorite Male Pro Tour Skiers To Win Reistadløpet

Emil Persson, Team Lager 157 Ski Team, is one of the most apparent faces to see on the podium. The Swedish athlete is going through a good phase, and we have already got used to seeing him on the podium, both on the longer and the hillier courses. 

But does Reistadløpet suits Emil’s skiing characteristics? During the race press conference, Emil said that he hopes to double-pole to victory.

“I think someone will double-pole to win. I hope I can do a good race and win using double-poling. However, my biggest rivals for the race are the smaller and lighter athletes that can have an advantage due to the course,” says Emil, also stating that Tord Asle Gjerdalen, Team XPND Fuel, and Johannes Eklöf, Team Ramudden, are very strong on uphills.

Another potential winner is Kasper Stadaas, Team Ragde Charge, who won Årefjällsloppet last weekend. This will be his first time at Reistadløpet, and he believes this is the most demanding course for him. But anything can happen, as he says during the press conference.

“On paper, this will be the toughest race for me. But again, I didn’t think I would be so good in Årefjällsloppet, so you never know. Sometimes, anything can happen if you are on a good day and the skis are good. Just have to see it. It will be my first time there”, says Kasper. 

When asked if the race will be won using double-poling, he replies: 

“I hope it will be possible. It is about time.”

Andreas Nygaard, Team Ragde Charge, is also one of the top favorites to win the race. Being one of the world’s best long-distance skiers, the Norwegian skier, who will be competing very close to his hometown, believes that this will not be the year we see someone double-poling to victory.

“Reistadløpet is unique in its profile, with long steep uphills that are not good for double-poling. Most likely, the winner will use kick-wax because it has been snowing, and it will be easy to get a good grip. Conditions are good for that. I think we will not see a winner double-poling this year,” says Nygaard during the conference, also stating that “it would be nice to win a race so close to where I live.”

Some people will pay attention to another strong contender. This season, Johannes Eklöf, Team Ramudden, has won Piazza Mountain Challenge and is a good performer on hilly courses. 

However, Johannes believes the uphills are steeper this time.

“It will be a nice surprise to see how steep the hills are. I think it is a lot steeper than Piazza. The fight between double-poling and kick-wax will be interesting. I think this is the year that someone will win using double-poling,” said Johannes Eklöf during the press conference.

And there is another potential winner, Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget, 

Team Eksjöhus, who won Holmenkollen 50km race. The hilly course may fit perfectly the characteristics of this Norwegian skier.

It will indeed be a very tough and exciting competition, where the double poler and the skiers who prefer to use kick-wax will fight for the top places.

Next up in the Visma Ski Classics is Reistadløpet. The 50-kilometer classic race takes place in Norway on April 2, 2022.

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