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Emil Persson broke nine years of Norwegian dominance – the first Swede to win Ski Classics

A historically long race put an end to an intense season in the long-distance race cup. With ten miles – and a climb of 2200 meters – the race was the longest in the history of Ski Classics. Previously, the Årefjäll race has been decided over 7.5 km.

The international elite was attracted by beautiful, magnificent views in the southern Åre mountains – but was met by tough and slightly piggy conditions.

– It was insanely tough conditions, says the winner Andreas Nygaard afterwards to

Cardinal dropped at the end

Among other things, there was wet snow, precipitation and temperatures on both sides of zero combined with strong winds.

– You were completely dependent on having better or at least as good skis as the competitors, getting nourishment along the way and making the right choice in the track, the Norwegian continues.

Oskar Kardin was in the driver’s seat for a long time and with about 20 km left, he went on a break with what looked like a super position for victory. The Swede led the race with 7.5 kilometers left and at that stage Nygaard was sixth, one minute and 32 seconds behind.

“One of the most tiring races”

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Everything was decided in the race where Nygaard crossed the finish line first with a victory time of five hours, four minutes and 48 seconds. Stian Hoelgaard was second and Ari Luusua third.

– This is one of the most tiring races I have ridden in my entire career, says Nygaard.

Oskar Kardin finished seventh and Emil Persson became best Swede in fifth place. He thus wrote history as the first Swede to win the overall long-distance cup.

Since Ski Classics started in 2010, it has only happened once before, the first year, that the cup has not been won by a Norwegian. Only twice has Sweden had a skier among the top three.

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