Gjerdalen achieved historical result at the 44th Marcialonga

Tord Asle Gjerdalen again raises his hands in Cavalese and wins his 3rd Marcialonga in a row. Smutna takes ladie's victory.

Contributed byMarcialonga

At 8.55 the 44th Marcialonga started this morning in Mazzin di Fassa. The start had to be shifted from Moena to Mazzin due to lack of snow, but the organizers managed to lay a white band into the autumnal valley of Val die Fiemme/Fassa. 7500 skiers participated in today's Worldloppet race and had a perfect sunny but cold winter day. Among the starters, we find the world's top elite of marathon skiing from Norway, Sweden, France etc. The result after the 57 km through the valley and up the final hill to Cavalese is a historical one. 


Tord "Triple" Alse Gjerdalen the King of Marcialonga
"The victory goes to Tord Asle Gjerdalen!" (2015). "And Gjerdalen wins the Marcialonga again!" (2016). "Tord Asle Gjerdalen wins and achieves the Triple at Marcialonga!" (2017). The Norwegian marathon specialist again managed to let the whole field behind him, just like in 2015 and 2016. But until the last 15km a totally different result was expected. 
After the first kilometers, the leading group was built with approximately 20 skiers, among them all the top skiers from the FIS Worldloppet Cup like Poirrier, Livers, Pralong, Perrillat (was wearing the red bib). And this group kept a very high pace - from start to finish. But Andreas Nygaard from Norway was not willing to ski together and attacked the group very early in the race and worked on his own from around the 15th km.  Long time it looked like his is too strong for the chasers and he will win the race single-handed, but 10 km before the finish line his advantage shrank to 20 seconds and didn't stop to shrink until a group of eight chasers led by Tord Asle Gerdalen overtook him. 
In the showdown, the final climb up to Cavalese, Gjerdalen showed his cleverness and strength, came around the final corner as first and crossed the finish line winning the 3rd Marcialonga in a row. Second place, only two seconds behind, grabs another Norwegian namely Johan Kjoelstad who out sprinted 3rd Morten Eide Pedersen, also Norway. 
Best non-Norwegian became FIS Worldloppet Cup skier Toni Livers (SUI) as 9th and his teammate Candide Pralong (FRA, Rossignol Gel Interim) as 12th. Pralong now is leading the FIS Worldloppet Cup overall ranking in front of Gjerdalen and Ivan Boiteux Perrillat (FRA, Haute Savoie Nordic Team). 
Close finish in the ladies competition with Smutna winning
The possible winners in the ladies race were narrowed down quite soon in the race. At km 12 only a small group of approximately 6 women skied together and only a few kilometers later, Britta Johansson Norgren from Sweden and Katerina Smutna (CZE) broke out and started to fight as a duo. Aurelie Dabudyk, who was wearing the red bib, found her place in the chasing group. 
In the end, after an exciting final on the last climb and on the finish lane, Smutna managed to beat Norgren and grabbed her second victory at the Marcialonga after 2015. 3rd place goes also to Sweden, to Sara LindborgAurelie Dabudyk arrived in Cavalese 6:20 later and became 5th. 
Aurelie Dabudyk remains the overall leader in the FIS Worldloppet Cup, so Dabudyk and Pralong are going to wear the red bibs at next week's König Ludwig Lauf, FIS Worldloppet Cup stage 3. 

Find the whole results of the 44th Marcialonga here for the men and the ladies.

Worldloppet-TV 2017 Episode 5 - Marcialonga
Tonight Worldloppet-TV is going to go online for the 5th time this season. After Kangaroo Hoppet, Merino Muster, Vasaloppet China and Dolomitenlauf today you are going to see the highlights of the Marcialonga weekend. Worldloppet-TV will be on-air at 8:00 pm CET tonight on Stay tuned!
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