Mora, Minnesota – Matt Liebsch (CXC Elite) and Mary Beth Tuttle won the 58km freestyle event at the Mora Vassaloppet last weekend. Liebsch skied away from the competition on the rolling point-to-point course, crossing the line in downtown Mora just under five minutes ahead of Anders Osthus (Atomic). Osthus battled Nikolai Anikin and and Bjorn Batdorf (Rossignol) for the silver, edging Anikin by 1.1 seconds. Batdorf and Anikin sprinted for the bronze, with Anikin gaining the last podium spot by inches.
Multiple Mora Vasaloppet champion and Chad Giese (Saab Salomon Factory Team) finished 7th.
Tuttle also posted an impressive win in the women’s event, besting Diane Tremblay by 1:27. Jan Guenther finished third.
The weekend consisted of numerous events in addition to the 58km freestyle. Adam Swank won a closely fought battle in the 42km Classic. Swank crossed the line in a time of 1:59:36.2, just .8 seconds ahead of Nathan Porath. Piotr Bednarski ifnished third, losing out in a sprint with Porath. Evan Pengelly was just 2.4 seconds off the podium in 4th.
The women’s 42km classic was also extremely close with Corey Coogan skiing to a 3.4 second victory over Kate Ellis. Michele Oja was third, 45 seconds back.
Andrew Schakel won the men’s 35km freestyle and Katie Ronsse (APUNSC) took the women’s title in that event, and placed an impressive 7th overall.
Over 1,600 skiers competed in the 2009 edition of the Mora Vasaloppet. The event is one of four Vasaloppets worldwide. The original, one of the largest ski races in the world, the Swedish Vasaloppet, was started in 1922. There are also Vasaloppets in China and Japan.
The four Vasaloppet races have formed an International Vasaloppet Skiing Exchange designed to promote not only the four races, but to foster a better understanding of different cultures and every three years an International Vasaloppet Skiing Conference and cultural exchange is held in one of the countries.
The Mora Vasaloppet is also a part of the American Ski Marathon Series.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.