Brink and Skofterud Win Vassaloppet With Record Times

Topher SabotMarch 5, 20122
The start of the 2012 Vasaloppet, Mora (SWE). Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus.

The 90-kilometer Vasaloppet is one of the most prestigious non-World Cup ski races in the world—such a big deal in fact that Petter Northug made the race his primary focus in 2012 following the Tour de Ski.

Unfortunately for Northug, a stomach bug kept him from even reaching the starting line, and we can only guess at how he would have fared.

Of course safe money would have been on Northug if he had been able to hang with the lead group for the duration of the event. The men’s race came down to a four-man sprint, Northug’s forte.

But it was Joergen Brink of Sweden who took the top spot, edging out countryman Daniel Tynell, marathon specialist Stanislav Rezac (CZE) and World Cup stalwart Daniel Rickardsson (SWE) at the line.

Brink also won the Tartu Marathon in Estonia in February.

“Today was such a perfect day where I could be aggressive all the time and just go for it,” Tynell told Swedish ski website Lä “It does not feel like I lost a gold, but like I won a silver medal.”

Brink’s winning time of 3:38:41 was the fastest ever in the Vassaloppet.

Vibeke Skofterud (NOR) Vasaloppet champion. Photo: Fischer/Nordic Focus.

The top nine finishers were all within five seconds in the men’s race, in strong contrast to the women’s race, where Vibeke Skofterud, with much less fanfare than Northug’s aborted attempt, took time off from the World Cup to ski to a clear win.

Skofterud, a mainstay on the Norwegian relay team, and who, despite missing the Tour de Ski due to illness, is ranked ninth in the overall World Cup standings bested runner-up Laila Kveli (NOR) by just over three minutes.

Skofterud also set a new time record in the race, despite losing a pole when another skier stepped on it. The Norwegian had to go back and pick it up, allowing Hansson to take a temporary lead.

The 24-year-old Kveli is in her first season racing the marathon circuit, and reached the podium for the first time in the Vasaloppet, bettering her fourth place finish in the 70k Marcialonga in Italy.

Racing for the Norwegian Team Xtra Personnel, Kveli was nearly three minutes up on Team Exspirit’s Seraina Bonner (SUI) with veteran marathoner Hansson (SWE) in fourth.

The top American finisher was Andreas Halvorsen, who placed 245th in a time of 4:15:07.

Brian McKeever paced the Canadians in 83rd. McKeever was skiing in the top-20 before breaking a pole and dropping back.

Megan McTavish was the top Canadian woman in an impressive 52nd place.

Ruth Oppliger was the top American woman in 616th.

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Topher Sabot

Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.

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  • gkentch

    March 6, 2012 at 12:18 am

    … and Pippa Middleton finished in 7:14, good for the top fourth of the women’s field. Don’t want you to bury the lede here.

  • Vasaloppet

    March 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Oskar Svard is not the defending champion Jorgen Brink has won the Vasaloppet 3 years in a row. Last year Jorgen skied with a broken pole for 10km and still won. His capacity to sprint after 90km of hammering goes into Vasaloppet lore.
    event Vasaloppet
    year 2012
    name Brink, Jörgen (SWE)
    club Hudiksvalls IF
    group H35
    number 1
    start group VL0
    team Team United Bakeries
    place 1
    place (total) 1
    time total (brutto) 03:38:41
    historic results
    event count
    Medaljår 5
    Vasaloppet 5
    race state
    race state finished
    last spotted Finish
    starttime 08:00:00
    Split time of day time diff min/ km km/h place
    Smågan 08:29:32 00:29:32 29:33 02:42 22.34 22
    Mångsbodarna 09:01:27 01:01:27 31:54 02:28 24.45 29
    Risberg 09:26:00 01:26:00 24:34 02:14 26.87 5
    Evertsberg 09:58:33 01:58:33 32:33 02:43 22.12 17
    Oxberg 10:31:05 02:31:05 32:32 02:11 27.66 4
    Hökberg 10:54:13 02:54:13 23:08 02:35 23.34 6
    Eldris 11:18:01 03:18:01 23:48 02:23 25.21 2
    Finish 11:38:41 03:38:41 20:40 02:18 26.13 1

    historic results
    10 results
    year event place number ac time
    2011 Vasaloppet 1 1 – 03:51:51 » view details
    2010 Vasaloppet 1 184 – 04:02:59 » view details

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