After taking bronze in the 15 kilometers as a replacement, Tord Asle Gjerdalen was also able to compete for the Norwegian team. With the Atomic pilot starting, they took World Championships gold in Val di Fiemme. Another Atomic athlete was also in the spotlight at the highlight of the long distance season: After a first victory in 2008, Jørgen Aukland won the renowned Vasaloppet again. His brother Anders was third; the two are joint leaders in the Ski Classics overall standings.
Jørgen Aukland is the first athlete to complete the legendary 90 kilometers between Sälen and Mora using the double-pole technique throughout. Using Atomic Worldcup Classic FL SDS skis, Worldcup Classic boots and SNS Propulse RC bindings, the 37 year-old finished 2 seconds ahead of Sweden's Daniel Tynell and 3 seconds ahead of his brother and Atomic teammate Anders Aukland, who is three years older. "I'm so happy that I've won. I knew that I had to open up a little gap for the last hundred meters because I'm not the best sprinter," said Jørgen Aukland. After 4 of 6 races the brothers lead the Ski Classics overall standings with 560 points each. On 16 March the series continues with the Birkebeinerrenett in Norway, which last year was won by Anders Aukland.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS GOLD, BRONZE AND 6TH PLACE IN THE 50 KILOMETER RACE
Tord Asle Gjerdalen repeated the trick he performed at the World Championships in his home town of Oslo in 2011 (gold in the team event and bronze in the 50 km) by taking gold in the team event and bronze in the individual 15 km in Val di Fiemme, Italy in 2013. Wearing his Atomic Worldcup Skate Featherlight skis, Gjerdalen got things going as the starting man for the Norwegian team in 8 degrees above zero and set the pace for a long time before handing over in second place with a deficit of just 2.4 seconds. At the finish he was again able to celebrate gold. On Sunday Gjerdalen also took a solid sixth place in the 50 km classic.
Vasaloppet (Sweden), 90 kilometers:
1. Jørgen Aukland (Nor) 3:50:48 ATOMIC
2. Daniel Tynell (Swe) 3:50:50
3. Anders Aukland (Nor) 3:50:51 ATOMIC