March 05, 2012 – Perfect conditions made this year’s Vasaloppet the fastest ever! Jörgen Brink from Sweden, won the Vasaloppet, for the third consecutive time and broke the record by19s, which is therefore now 3:38.41! By breaking the record, Brink got himself a brand new Volkswagen! Brink finished first in a fantastic sprint, which left four skiers to wait for the photo finish to decide who gained the famous victory this year. Then it was clear, Brink was once again the number one. Behind him, Daniel Tynell (SWE), who has won the Vasaloppet twice, took second, and Stanislav Rezac (CZE) the leader of the overall FIS Marathon Cup, grabbed third place.
However, for a long time it looked as if the winner would be Joergen Aukland (NOR), who got away from the pack around 15km before the finish, but the ones left behind worked well together and caught the Norwegian soon after his attempt to break away. In the end, the younger one of the two Aukland brothers starting in the Vasaloppet today, got only 10th – 14s behind Brink.
On the women’s side, it was was a bit less spectacular at the finish. Vibeke Skofterud, who already holds several Olympic and World Championship medals with the Norwegian National Team, claimed the victory in her first ever start in the Vasaloppet. Behind her, it was a another Norwegian, who took second place: Young Laila Kveli skied a fantastic race and finished ahead of Seraina Boner of Switzerland. Early in the race, it didn’t appear to be Skofterud’s day, as the Norwegian lost one of her poles. Thinking the race was already over for her after that, she still felt good and just went for it – a move which definitely paid off. Especially as she also broke the old record time which also made her the owner of a new Volkswagen car! The new record time for the women is now at 4:08.24.
Blue sky, temperatures around -10 at the start, and only a slight breeze awaited the over 14,000 skiers who started the 90km in classic style. The most traditional and world renowned Vasaloppet not only welcomed elite athletes, but also such personalities as His Royal Highness, Frederik, Prince of Denmark and the sister and the brother of the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa and James Middleton. Cesar Baena, who already competed for this country Venezuela in the Nordic World Ski Championships, was equally on the start and finished the race in just over 6 hours.
Rezac Still Leads Overall Men’s FIS Marathon Cup, Nyström New Women’s Leader
Stanislav Rezac (CZE) is now leading the overall FIS Marathon Cup with 405 points in front of Joergen Aukland (NOR, 282 points) and Jimmie Johnsson (SWE, 275 points).
Susanne Nyström (SWE), fifth today, still received enough points to regain the leader’s bib from Stephanie Santer (ITA), who didn’t ski the Vasaloppet. Nyström now leads the overall with 410 points ahead of team mate Jenny Hansson (SWE, 382 points) and Santer (381 points).
The next FIS Marathon Cup race will be the Engadin Skimarathon (SUI), 42km skating technique, on March 11.
Comments from the Top Three
Jörgen Brink (SWE):
I felt good all the way, my plan was to get a good position and keep it. With only a few kilometers left I felt that I still had power left in my arms and the goal was to be the first on the home-stretch. It was a hard fight in the end and the more am I happy that I was able to secure the victory! Especially, as it is already my third consecutive win!! It’s absolutely fantastic!!! Sure, I prepared this race very well, but you never know what will come, therefore I am really satisfied!
Daniel Tynell (SWE):
Two years ago it felt like I was losing the first place, this year it felt like I won a second place. It feels so good to be back and I am really satisfied with my race today. It was a hard fight in the end and I am happy that I was able to gain this second place!
Stanislav Rezac (CZE):
Next year, I am going to win!
Vibeke Skofterud (NOR):
It was a great feeling to win and I’m going to take it with me for sure! Well, it’s simply amazing! I lost a pole right at the beginning of the race and Jenny Hansson passed me with such a speed that I thought that the race was over for me! However, I felt very good and therefore I just tried to go for it and to enjoy the race which I did. It’s just fantastic that it then even worked out for the victory!!!
Laila Kveli (NOR):
It’s for sure one of the goals of the season to be good in the Vasaloppet and if you then really are, it’s just great! I am really happy and very satisfied with my second place! It’s just amazing! My best race so far in the FIS Marathon Cup so far this season and that in the Vasaloppet – that’s just great!
Seraina Boner (SUI):
I am really happy with my third place. The Vasaloppet is a very special race and you prepare especially for it, however, you never know if it will work as you wish. Therefore I am really satisfied with my race today. The track was very fast and I really enjoyed skiing.
More photos from the race HERE.