March 19, 2012 (Norway) – A new course record was set this weekend at the highly prestigious Norwegian Birkebeiner. Anders Aukland of Norway skied the hilly 54km course with a winning time of 2:21:26. Norwegians swept the Men’s podium with Roger Aa Djupvik in second and Espen Harald Bjerke in third. Switzerland took first for the women’s event with Seraina Boner winning in 2:46:54 followed by Stepanie Santer of Italy in second and Jenny Hanson of Sweden in third.
The Aukland brothers, Anders and Joergen, have been extremely successful this year in Europe’s top classic Marathons. A key component of that success has been training specifically for long distance classic events. Year round, their training has been aimed at endurance over speed with an emphasis on classic.
The Aukland brothers have also learned how to take advantage of their new Atomic’s SDS technology. This was especially evident at the Birkebeiner. Anders calmly skied with the main pack on the flats and casually double poled as the other athletes had to push themselves to maintain the pace. The highly elastic inserts in the kick zone of the new Atomic Classics allow the grip wax to ride well above the snow even though the ski has a low camber height.
When the pack reached the hills toward the end of the Birkebeiner, a well rested Anders dropped the other skiers and climbed the hills with a tempo they could not match. The same inserts that keep the kick wax well above the snow during glide easily compress as soon as just a little downward force is applied during the kick. Anders and the other Atomic athletes have found that the best strategy for them is to go easy and glide with the pack in the flats and then take advantage of how the ski climbs and drop the rest of the guys in the ascents. It has continuously paid off this year at the long classic events.
The Norwegian Birkebeiner is always limited to a field of 16,000 skiers. Entries were sold out in 18 minutes this year. It is always classic only and the Birkebeiner is one of the most technical of all the Worldloppet courses. Victory here is considered the most prestigious test for classic equipment.
Results and race report HERE.
February 13, 2012 (Edmonton, AB) – Check out this video, featured on edmontonjournal.com, from the 55km Canadian Birkebeiner race and ski festival was held this past weekend in Edmonton. Barret Dunbar of Saskatoon won the full distancerace with a pack, while Wietske Eikelenboom of St. Albert won the women’s race. Full results HERE.
Watch video HERE.
April 29, 2011 – Canada’s Tyler Mosher, 2009 Para-Snowboard World Champ and 2010 Paralympic XC ski team member, completed three Birkebeiner events this season, and recently finished fourth and sixth at the World Snowboard Federation Para-Snowboard World Cup Tour finale in Lake Louise.
Mosher said that his snowboard results would have been better, had he not spent so much time on XC skis training for the Birkie loppets, and he’s considering tackling another next year. He’s also hoping snowboarding will be named a Paralympic sport for the 2012 Games in Sochi.
Read the article full Whistler Question article HERE.