The heart-rates are already running high in the Vasaloppet town of Mora, Sweden ahead of Sunday’s 90-kilometer race. The top skiers are in town for last minute fine-tuning, ski testing and to observe and train on certain sections of the course. The tracks are in superb conditions and the temperature is -10 Celsius.
Peter Goransson’s 1998 course record is 3 hours 38 minutes and 57 seconds.
The reward for breaking the record is a new Volvo V 70. The winner of the race also receives $10,000 (regardless of winning time). There is an additional $6000 to be made by being first at certain check points (sprint preems). Next years first place winner will receive $40,000.
(Fasterskier.com notes: Add this to the skier’s personal contracts with their own sponsors and it will add up to a nice payday for a podium spot.Â Being in the top will also pay off in future contracts)
The list of pre-race favorites is increasing and includes:
Last year’s winner Oscar Svard, Jorgen Aukland (second last year), Anders Aukland (World Cup victories this year), Stanislav Rezac (long distance specialist), Silvio Fauner (Olympic gold medal winner), Michail Botvinov (Olympic medalist), Daniel Tynell (Vasaloppet winner 2002), Staffan Larsson (Vasaloppet winner 1999), Raul Olle (long distance specialist), Mattias Svahn (4th last year), Vincent Vittoz (second in the La Clusaz World Cup) Hiroyuki Imai (Japan’s long distance star) and Mika Myllyla (back from doping suspension)