SWEDEN TRIUMPHS WITH SVÄRD AND HANSSON. 70KM OF SUCCESS FOR THE 37TH MARCIALONGA
– In the last meters, Svärd and Ahrlin ski away from Jörgen Aukland
– In the women’s race Jenny Hansson races solo
– In the “Light” (45km), Antonella Confortola and Fulvio Scola prevail
Sweden triumphed in the 37th Marcialonga, the men’s race won for the first time by Oskar Svärd, and the women’s race won again by Jenny Hansson. Svärd had been chasing this success for seven years, having won three Vasaloppet races in the past.
There were 6500 athletes today on the start line in Moena, Trentino. It was a cold and gray day that turned into clear blue sky, and it was a tactical race along 70 km which was decided, as expected, only at the “final climb” of Cascata, just before the finish line of Cavalese.
At the start line of the race three of the top contenders made a calculated decision: the Norwegian brothers Anders and Jörgen Aukland, along with Italy’s Stanislav Rezac decided to start with skate skis (and therefore without wax) and Oskar Svärd started with classic skis which had no kick wax on them; hence, for them all it was to be a 70 km double pole race.
All the best competitors remained in the lead group without any twists, excluding a fast start by Bruno Debertolis (ITA) who was immediately caught by the Scandinavians, the breaking of a ski by Anders Aukland, and a broken pole for Jörgen Aukland.
Things warmed up at the beginning of the “Cascata” climb, where Aukland, Svärd and Ahrlin skied away from the pack, Aukland dictating the pace. Then, in the center of Cavalese, Svärd took the initiative gaining a few meters, with Ahrlin right behind him; the two then fought for the lead and sprinted to the finish line. Svärd beat Ahrlin to the line by 1.4 seconds, in a total time of 3:02:28.9. Jorgen Aukland finished 13.3 seconds back, in 3:02:41.3.
Rezac also did well, placing fourth in front of Italian hometown favorite Marco Cattaneo, who, after a slow start, was able to catch the lead group. A fifth place finish for Cattaneo was considered a great finish in a race dominated by specialists from Scandinavia.
The women’s race was dominated by Jenny Hansson. Hansson was always in the lead and never threatened by competitors Sandra Hansson and Susanne Nystrom, who finished on the podium in that order.
Large numbers of people were on the side of the track to encourage the competitors along the “rails”. It was a great success, then, for the 37th edition of the Marcialonga, which ended with the Swedish flag raised twice to salute the winners Svärd and Hansson, who are now the leaders of the FIS Marathon Cup.
Marcialonga Light (45 km) was won by Fulvio Scola and Antonella Confortola.
The top U.S. finishers of the 70km race were Cory-Peter Berg from Grand Marais, MN, who placed 644th with a time of 4:13:40 and William Bothe of Park City, UT in a time of 4:14:02 in 652nd place.
Top Ten Results Marcialonga – 70km FULL RESULTS HERE Men 1) Svard Oskar (Swe) 3:02.28,0; 2) Ahrlin Jerry (Swe) 3:02.29,4; 3) Aukland Jorgen (Nor) 3:02.41,3 4) Rezac Stanislav (Cze) 3:02.57,0; 5) Cattaneo Marco (G.S. Fiamme Oro) 3:02.58,4; 6) Debertolis Bruno (G.S. Fiamme Gialle) 3:03.16,4; 7) Morandini Nicola (G.S. Fiamme Gialle) 3:03.23,4; 8 ) Aukland Anders (Nor) 3:03.43,4; 9) Alsgaard Thomas (Nor) 3:04.00,6; 10) Bonaldi Sergio (C.S. Esercito) 3:04.23,1 Women 1) Hansson Jenny (Swe) 3:32.07,8; 2) Hansson Sandra (Swe) 3:33.43,5; 3) Nystrom Susanne (Swe) 3:34.01,7; 4) Lintzen Nina (Swe) 3:39.42,6; 5) Sandbakken Ellen (Nor) 3:48.01,0; 6) Monrad-Hansen Marte (Nor) 3:49.00,3; 7) Benedicic Maja (Slo) 3:50.22,2; 8 ) Kruger Inger Hegstad (Nor) 3:59.15,1; 9) Skari Hege (Nor) 3:59.36,9; 10) Ruud Astrid (Nor) 4:04.14,2 Marcialonga "Light" (45Km) Results (above article adapted by Aubrey Smith from today’s article on Worldloppet.com. Original article here)