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SC Ranking
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
9 Thomas Ødegaard... 23,852,025
10 Torleif Syrstad 23,844,654
11 Amund Riege 23,583,626
12 Axel Jutterströ... 23,542,041
13 Eirik Sverdrup ... 23,451,378
14 Runar Skaug Mat... 23,406,779
15 Herman Paus 23,398,617
16 Oskar Kardin 23,295,927
17 Morten Eide Ped... 23,285,882
18 Stian Hoelgaard 23,173,466
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
29 Einar Kalland-O... 21,381,668
30 Anikken Gjerde ... 21,371,471
31 Silje Øyre Slin... 21,131,436
32 Nils Dahlsten 21,036,730
33 Klas Nilsson 20,963,902
34 Alfred Buskqvis... 20,959,327
35 Eddie Edström 20,918,257
36 Thomas Joly 20,769,655
37 Torgeir Sulen H... 20,750,282
38 Karolina Hedens... 20,747,023
39 Jenny Larsson 20,746,503
40 Marcus Johansso... 20,519,477
41 Johan Tjelle 20,321,169
42 Patrick Fossum ... 20,194,014
43 Petter Northug 20,160,567
44 Fabián Štoček... 20,118,753
45 Ole Jørgen Bruv... 20,102,163
46 Joar Thele 20,023,863
47 Juuso Mäkelä 19,956,551
48 Sofie Elebro 19,681,634
49 Jan Šrail 19,577,269
50 Fredrik Helgest... 19,176,422
 
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What Makes A Female Athlete Successful In The Visma Ski Classics?

Britta Johansson Norgren, Astrid Øyre Slind, and now Ida Dahl. Some of the most renowned names in Visma Ski Classics, but what makes them so good year after year?

Photo: Magnus Östh/Visma Ski Classics

It is not uncommon in the men’s field to have even ten different potential podium skiers in each race, while in the women’s field, the top contenders tend to remain more or less the same. 

For example, this season 21/22 (Orsa to Reistadløpet), there have been ten different women on a podium, while on the men’s field, the respective number is fifteen.

This season a record number of female athletes have been registered to Visma Ski Classics, and we decided to look at the essential requirements to become successful at Visma Ski Classics as a woman.

Statistics – Experience

Looking at the statistics, the average age between women podium skiers in season 19/20 was 32.85 years, season 20/21 33.25 years, and in the current season 31.50 years (until Årefjällsloppet). On the men’s side, the respective numbers are as follows: 31.0 years in 19/20, 31.27 years in 20/21, and 30.14 years this season.

This season alone, men have had eight different winners, while on the women’s side, only Øyre Slind, Johansson Norgren, Dahl, and Andersson have stood on the highest step.

Of the Youth category skiers, Ida Dahl is the only woman who has reached the podium, and besides her, three Pro Tour skiers under 26-years old have been in top10. To compare, in the men’s field, two skiers, Novak and Jutterström, have been on the podium, while in total, five different youth skiers have been in the top 10.

While experience does not make an athlete alone successful, it certainly plays a role. For example, on the women’s side, we should not forget Ida Dahl’s sensational season and what she has been able to achieve at a young age.

ProXCskiing.com asked Dahl what she thinks makes a long-distance athlete successful: 

“I do not think it differs between men and women, but I think first and foremost, it is about finding a balance in life between exercise, recovery, and other parts of life that take energy.”

“Then find a training strategy that you feel inspired by and have the desire to implement because I think the training will be better if it feels fun and inspiring. I also think specific training mixed with alternative training to stimulate the heart in more ways than just double poling is an important factor.” 

Next, we look at the race tactics and the depth of the field.

Different Race Tactics and the Depth of the Field

The field’s depth is still more significant in the men’s race, them often having around 100 starters in a race, while the women’s start field is about half of the size. Additionally, the gaps between female athletes tend to be bigger than in the men’s field. 

Fast starts in the women’s races usually spread the field faster, leaving 4-6 women fighting for the podium. However, compared to a few years back, more contenders are fighting for the positions just outside the podium.

Moreover, perhaps due to the bigger field and depth, men often stay in larger groups and play more tactics, and it is not uncommon to see 20 men fighting for the podium. For example, at Birkebeinerrennet, the top 10 was within 3 seconds, while on the women’s side, we are talking about some minutes between the skiers. 

Nonetheless, we should not forget that the level on the absolute top is exceptionally high, as Øyre Slind proved when she took a win at Birkebeinerrennet against Johaug, the best traditional cross-country skier in the world.

Changing – Record Number of Women in the Circuit

This season a record number of athletes have been registered to Visma Ski Classics, with a total of 117 female athletes, which is 35,2% of all athletes in Ski Classics. Long-distance skiing is gaining popularity among women. 

To conclude, while there is no one factor alone that makes a female athlete successful, the training to become successful may not differ between men and women.

The capacity to start fast, keep up the pace and make tactical moves early on during the race to create gaps, alongside the Pro Tour skier’s capacity, makes the best athletes podium contenders in each race. 

However, maybe we will see this changing, the level rising, and competition becoming even tighter as more women enter the circuit.

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