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1 Emil Persson 26,400,000
2 Astrid Øyre Sli... 25,587,856
3 Ida Dahl 25,490,319
4 Andreas Nygaard 25,090,602
5 Tord Asle Gjerd... 24,584,931
6 Kasper Stadaas 24,454,035
7 Max Novak 24,254,434
8 Johannes Eklöf 24,074,060
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26 Thomas Ødegaard... 21,945,568
27 Anders Aukland 21,937,881
28 Joar Thele 21,847,272
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30 Klas Nilsson 21,558,881
31 Amund Riege 21,545,798
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Events & Results
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Top Male Favorites For Birkebeinerrennet

Today we present the top favorites for the 54km Visma Ski Classics event. Several Pro Tour and World Cup skiers will fight for victory.

Photo: Magnus Östh/Visma Ski Classics

Who will win Birkebeinerrennet tomorrow?

Two weeks after the prestigious Vasaloppet in Sweden, who are the male skiers that are in the position to be the favorites for winning Birkebeinerrennet? Like in the women’s race that we analyzed yesterday, there are many top contenders, but it is not so easy to point out a single favorite this time.

Andreas Nygaard, Team Ragde Charge, the current yellow bib holder, is going through a strong phase, with victories at Vasaloppet and Jizerská50 and several top 5 places this Season XII. 

Nygaard has been the winner (2018) and the second place (2019) at Birken, but he faces intense competition from Emil Persson and other Pro Tour athletes this time. Not to mention several World Cup skiers who will start the race tomorrow.

“Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget won the World Cup stage in Holmenkollen and showed he is a very good double poler. He is the strongest guy, and I would be stunned if he didn’t sprint to the victory next Saturday”, says Andreas Nygaard during the Visma Ski Classics Birkebeinerrennet press conference. 

“From the Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour skiers, I got an eye on Tord Asle Gjerdalen, who has never won Birken, and I know he is looking forward to it. Also, Johan Hoel is powerful at this time of the year.”

Andreas hopes to have good conditions and skis to fight for victory and keep the yellow bib. But strong winds and a solid competition make him expect a demanding and fast race from the beginning.

“Birkebeiner is the race with fewer team tactics involved. It is usually full gas from the start. There is no luck or coincidence to win the race. The strongest men and women usually win it,” says Andreas Nygaard. 

Emil Persson, Lager 157 Ski Team, is also one of the favorites to win Birken. Just like Nygaard, Persson is going through a strong phase. The Swedish long-distance skier won Tartu Maraton and finished in the 2nd position at Vasaloppet. But Birken has a hilly course, and that may challenge Persson.

“I haven’t really been training specifically for Birken. I used the backpack on a few workouts after Vasaloppet, but I haven’t focused a lot on the uphill double-poling so much”, says Emil during the press conference. 

“But I am in good shape and have a good feeling.”

Emil believes that he has a good chance to win. The first time he raced Birkebeiner was in 2019 and finished in the 31st position, but his shape has improved significantly since that time. 

“If I have a good day, I think I have a chance to win. I expect a hard race. Maybe Tord Asle Gjerdalen and Johan Hoel are strong on the uphill and put a high speed from the start. And of course, Nyenget will be there. It will be an exciting race from the start.”

Not only Tord Asle and Johan Hoel may be strong rivals to Andreas and Emil, but also Max Novak, Team Ramudden, and the young skier that surprised everyone at Vasaloppet: Axel Jutterström.

“Birken is one of the most important races, and I am looking forward to it. I think it suits me well”, says Axel. 

With his 3rd place at Vasaloppet, Axel Jutterström has signed a new contract with Team Eksjöhus.

“For the rest of the season, I will try to keep this good shape and see how far that will take me. It will be fun to fight for more top places. I hope that in the long-term I will be able to fight for more podiums and the yellow bib”, concludes Axel.

Finally, Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget, Team Eksjöhus, is the World Cup skier that everyone is looking forward to seeing in action. 

Nyenget, who has just won the 50km Holmenkollen World Cup stage, hopes to fight for the win.

“I hope to fight for the win, but it will be a hard fight for the podium. Andreas Nygaard will be the favorite for winning the race on Saturday.”

The 54-km course from Rena to Lillehammer will have a lot of competition between Pro Tour and World Cup skiers and, very likely, an intense competition between double-poling and classic diagonal striding.

A celebrated starting field is confirmed for Birkebeinerrennet


  • Date: Saturday, March 19
  • Place: Rena-Lillehammer, Norway
  • Distance: 54km Classic Technique
  • Start Times: 7:45 CET Men / 8:00 CET Women

Next up in the Visma Ski Classics is Birkebeinerrennet. The 54-kilometer classic race takes place in Norway on March 19, 2022. 

You can follow the race live on SC PLAY.

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