Swedes Sweep Vasaloppet, Aukland Third

FasterSkierMarch 5, 2006

VIESSMANN” FIS World Cup Cross-Country in Mora/Vasaloppet (Sweden), Mass start 90 km C men, 05.03.2006

After over four and a half hours of racing, it came down to a four-way battle to the line in the men's 90km classic Vasaloppet World Cup race Sunday. The top four skiers were separated by only 8 seconds. World and Olympic Champion Anders Aukland of Norway, who won the race in 2004, was beaten by two Swedish long-distance specialists.

The 30-year-old Daniel Tynell from Sweden won the 82nd Vasaloppet 90 km classic mass start race, which also count this year to the “VIESSMANN” FIS World Cup Cross-Country, in a time of 4:34:09. His countryman Jerry Ahrlin took the second place only with 2,0 seconds behind Tynell and just ahead of the Norwegian Anders Aukland who finished in 6,0 seconds behind the winner on the course from Sälen to Mora. The Czech Stanislav Rezac took the fourth place in a time of 4:34:17. After Rezac it was a 20-second gap to 2005 Vasa winner Oskar Svaerd of Sweden, who came out the right end of a three-way sprint with two other Swedes, Rikard Andreasson and Mattias Svan. Aukland's brother Jorgen, aka the “Double Pole Phantom” only managed 8th on a course well-suited to his strength in double-poling over exceptionally long distances.

Despite this year's Vasaloppet being included in the World Cup, very few full-time World Cup skiers raced. With a busy week of racing ahead in Borlaange, Falun, Drammen, and Oslo, most of the skiers opted to conserve their energy for the final string of races before the World Cup wraps up for the year in China and Japan.

For Tynell it was the second victory in the Vasaloppet after 2002. He was already this year the 4th in the Koenig-Ludwig-Lauf in Oberammergau (Germany). The 28-year-old Jerry Ahrlin took this year second after missing last year the podium in Mora as 4th. The third, Anders Aukland, was the winner of the Vasaloppet in 2004. Only eleven foreign athletes could win the Vasaloppet in his history since the first start in 1922.

The fastest women in the Vasalopped race was Christina Paluselli from Italy. She finished in a time of 4:59:24 ahead of the Swedes Sofia Lind (time: 5:03:21) and Jenny Hannsson (time: 5:15:04). The Club of Asarna IK made a protest against Paluselli after the race. The Jury rejected this protest because there was not enough prove that Paluselli got an intention advantage.

Spectators: 40.000 (on the total course)

Total Vasaloppet starter: 14.712 skier

Record: Men: 3:38:57, hold by Peter Görannson (Sweden), from the year 1998
Women: 4:17:02, hold by Kerrin Petty (Sweden), from the year 1998

Weather: partly cloudy, some snowfall ; – 14°C at the start, – 7°C at the finish

Snow Conditions: packed powder

Quotes of the top three athletes:

Daniel Tynell, SWE: ” It was the best feeling forever to won the today's race. It was a hard work together with Jerry to split the group but we was successful. It helps me a lot that my family and my relatives were on the course and support me. I became father in October and I change the Club, so that was maybe the reason why I was so strong.”

Jerry Ahrlin, SWE: ” My tactic this morning was to stay in the first group but not in the lead. It was difficult for me to realize this because sometimes the speed was tough and sometimes they skied slow. The changes made it difficult. Near the finish line my thought was, that I could made today a lot of money. My goal this year was to qualify for the Olympics in Torino but as that didn't work I concentrate my on the long distance races, the next will be the Birkebeiner in Norway.”

Anders Aukland, NOR: ” Before the today's race there was a lot of talking about the tactic of the Aukland-Brothers. But today we hadn't any chance to do the tactic alone because of the new snow. It was not easy today to find the right skis and the right wax but everybody had the same problems.”



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