Norway’s Blink ski festival began July 31 with a 60-kilometer mass start classic rollerski race in Ålgård city in the Southwest of the country.
The point to point race presented rolling terrain, with a major 5 k climb beginning at 30 k. The course then trended downhill to the finish.
The men’s elite race was a pack-skiing affair. Britain’s Andrew Musgrave took the win in 2:17:11.7 hours. He out-lunged Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krüger who placed second (+0.3). Also from Norway, Morten Eide Pedersen was third (+0.6). Eighty-nine rollerskiers finished the men’s elite race.
The women’s elite field included 15 athletes with Norway’s Astrid Øyre Slind winning in a time of 2:23:15.7. Thea Krokan Murad (+1:16.3) and Hedda Østberg Amundsen (+5:17.8), both of Norway, placed second and third respectively.
On Thursday, Aug. 1, the Blink Festival’s marquee event shook out. That event was the 7.5 k Lysebotn Opp (uphill) skate rollerski race that snakes up and up at the head of the Lysefjord.
The women’s elite 7.5 k climb was won by Norwegian Therese Johaug in 31:18.4 minutes. In second was Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (+2:48.7). Finnish Biathlete Kaisa Makarainen was third (+4:12.3).
Krüger won the men’s elite climb in 28:33.7 minutes. Norwegian Hans Christer Holund was second (+2.9), with France’s Maurice Manificat placing third (+1:00.8).
Blink organizers also kept those with an idea of a massive double pole effort happy. The racing included a 7.5 k uphill double-pole only race.
Musgrave won the men’s double pole climb in 30:52.9 minutes. In second was Pedersen (+27.8), with Norwegian Sjur Røthe in third (+29.4).
Slind won the women’s uphill double pole race in 38:10.6 minutes. Emile Fleten of Norway placed second (+1:23.8), and Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk was third (+1:46.3).