Jorgen Aukland was strongest up the last hill and captured his second Marcialonga title.
– There were seven or eight men going into the last uphill together. From that point it was as hard as you could go and I was luckily the strongest, explains Norwegian Jorgen Aukland.
He was however not sure he was going to win before he had crossed the finish line.
– There were many good skiers in this leadgroup and I didn’t know how good the Swedes would be in uphill double-poling. Several of them have skied well in this year’s Scandinavian Cup and in recent marathons. But I also know that I’m good in the uphills, says Aukland.
The last 2.5-kilometer of the race in one continues uphill where the racers have to choose between stopping to apply more wax or double poling up the entire hill.
– The last hill is in the sun and is much slicker than the hills in the beginning of the race, says Aukland.
He was at one point three minutes behind one of the early leaders.
– One skier got an early 3-miute lead, but we were able to ski him in and we were together with 30-kilometer to go, says Aukland.
He thought the conditions were good despite lots of new snow prior to the race weekend.
– There were lots of new snow and great conditions, but it was harder than normal with lots of suction in the tracks, said Aukland.
Aukland is now leading the FIS marathon World Cup.