ATOMIC athlete Anders Aukland achieved his first victory of a Ski Classics race – and made it in record time! The Norwegian won the 54km Birkebeinerrennet in 2:21:34 hours, 2:59 minutes faster than the best time of 2008. At the cross-country skiing World Cup finals in Falun (SWE) Marthe Kristoffersen finished third in the 2,5km race.
“I am just very happy“, Anders Aukland said after his record race from Rena to Lillehammer. “It was a very hard race with an extremely high tempo. Especially at the start I had trouble to stick with the top group.“ 16,000 races, a new record number, participated in the Birkebeinerrennet, which reminds of the escape of two ski pioneers carrying little Prince Haakon Haakonsson, who later became King of Norway, on their backs during the riots of civil war in the 13th century. To remember this, all participants have to carry a backpack weighing 3,5 kilos. “Carrying something unfamiliar on your back makes the climbs especially challenging. At same point, however, you start to forget about it.“ In the Ski Classics ranking Aukland is currently 2nd, 98 points behind the leader; the final race will take place on the 31st of March – last year, Aukland won the Norefjellrennet.
ATOMIC YOUNGSTER KRISTOFFERSEN COMPLETES SEASON ON THE PODIUM
Marthe Kristoffersen completed the season in Falun with an exclamation mark. The 22-year-old Norwegian finished third at the 2,5 km Prologue on the Mördarbakken in Falun, 11,6 seconds behind the winner. The ATOMIC athlete finished the season ranking 6th in the overall World Cup.