Really everything you need to know about Vasaloppet 2019

The 95th Vasaloppet will start in Sälen on Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 08:00.Vasaloppet is fully booked, as usual, which means 15,800 registered participants. In total around 62,000 participants have registered so far for the Vasaloppet Winter Week 2019 races. This is the 42nd year that Vasaloppet will be broadcast live on Swedish Television. Here is some background information for the world’s biggest cross-country ski race.

The history of the historic race

Gustav Eriksson’s adventure in Dalarna took place during the winter of 1520–21. In 1523 he was elected King of Sweden. The first Vasaloppet took place on Sunday, March 19, 1922. Now the 95th Vasaloppet will take place, which is also the 23rd with a special competition class for women (started in 1997). Three races have been cancelled: 1932, 1934 and 1990. Since 1948 the race has always run on the first Sunday of March, except in 2015 when the race ran on the second Sunday because of the World Ski Championships in Falun.

(c) Vasaloppet/Hansson

The first live TV broadcast of Vasaloppet took place in 1966. This will be the 42nd time that Vasaloppet (in part or in its entirety) is transmitted live, and it’s the 37th time that the Vasaloppet start is broadcast live on television. 1973 was the first year with a live broadcast in colour. Since 1992 Vasaloppet has been shown live every year. Vasaloppet and SVT’s current broadcasting agreement extends until 2020. Vasaloppet was first broadcast on Swedish Radio in 1925.

Since 1922 a total of 575,620 Vasaloppet skiers have completed the 90-kilometre Vasaloppet; put together they have covered a distance equal to 1,292 round the world trips or 67 journeys to the moon and back!

Represented nations at the 95th Vasaloppet

Vasaloppet 2019 has participants from 45 different nations, counting Sweden. About 3,700 of the registered participants come from countries other than Sweden, most from the Scandinavian neighbours:

  1. Norway (1,115)
  2. Finland (551)
  3. Denmark (462)
  4. Germany (303)
  5. Czech Republic (264)
  6. Estonia (138)
  7. Switzerland (138)
  8. Italy (132)
  9. Netherlands (91)
  10. Iceland (67)
  11. Austria (64)
  12. Russia (63)
  13. France (51)
  14. Great Britain (32)
  15. Belgium (31)
  16. Canada (29)
  17. USA (24).

(c) Vasaloppet/Schmidt

The average skier at Sweden’s Worldloppet race

The average age of Sweden’s population (2018-12-31) is 41.23 years. The average age in Vasaloppet 2019 is 42.2 (42.8 for the gents and 39.0 for the ladies) and the average participant has skied Vasaloppet previously 3.7 times. For the first time ever there are over 2,500 women ladies registered for Vasaloppet, which means we’ll have 16 percent female participants in the tracks this Sunday.

What about the elite skiers?

Andreas Nygaard, Norway, won Vasaloppet 2018 and the ladies’ class victor was Lina Korsgren, Sweden. The latest men’s class winner from Sweden was Jörgen Brink in 2012. The male winners these past six years have all been from Norway.

Apart from Andreas Nygaard we’ll see several previous victors in the elite group this year: Anders Aukland, 2004, Jörgen Brink, 2010, 2011 and 2012, John Kristian Dahl, 2014, 2016 and 2017 as well as Petter Eliassen, 2015. Also worth noting: Stanislav Rezác, Czech Republic (born 1973), skiing his 21st Vasaloppet this year. 14 out of 20 times Rezác has been in the top 10, and in the top 3 six times, but no win.

The female winners from these past four years are all in the elite start group this year: Laila Kveli, 2013 and 2014, Katerina Smutná, 2016, Britta Johansson Norgren, 2017 and Lina Korsgren 2018.

(c) Vasaloppet

Vasaloppet 2018, men:
1) Andreas Nygaard, NOR, 4.24.36
2) Bob Niemi Impola, SWE
3) Stian Hoelgaard, NOR
4) Jörgen Brink, SWE
5) Öystein Pettersen, NOR
6) Magnus Vesterheim, NOR
7) Stanislav Rezác, CZE
8) Anders Aukland, NOR
9) Tord Asle Gjerdalen, NOR
10) Thomas Gifstad, NOR

Vasaloppet 2018, women:
1) Lina Korsgren, SWE
2) Astrid Öyre Slind, NOR
3) Katerina Smutná, CZE
4) Britta Johansson Norgren, SWE
5) Sara Lindborg, SWE
6) Heli Heiskanen, FIN
7) Laila Kveli, NOR
8) Roxana Lacroix, FRA
9) Marit Engeseth, NOR
10) Evelina Bångman, SWE

The Vasaloppet is also a stage of the Ski Classics race series, which brings more top-class marathon skiers (especially from Norway & Sweden) to the starting line. Worldloppet races are beloved in the cup of Ski Classics: 5 of the 12 events in this series are Worldloppet races. Beside Vasaloppet also Engadin Skimarathon, Birkebeinerrennet, Marcialonga & Jizerska Padesatka are part of it.

The Reward

The awards ceremony for Vasaloppet 2019 takes place at 15:00 on stage at the Vasaloppet finish line. The first prize is a kiss, a garland, a trophy and 95,000 SEK (for both the winning man and woman), which makes approximately about 9.000 €. The men’s class winner will also get the Kranskulla honorary award. The first prize is now raised by 1,000 SEK every year.

There are seven spurt prizes for both men and women: 10,000 SEK in Evertsberg (The Hill Prize) and 5,000 SEK at the six other checkpoints; Smågan, Mångsbodarna, Risberg, Oxberg, Hökberg and Eldris. Vasaloppet’s total prize sum for 2019 is over 565,000 SEK. (Ski Classics also has its own spurt prizes for Mångsbodarna and Evertsberg.)

If a winner, male or female, breaks the Vasaloppet record time for their class they are awarded a 50,000 SEK record bonus.

Everyone who completes Vasaloppet gets a diploma. Participants who finish within the winning time plus 50 percent are also awarded the Vasaloppet medal. In 2018, 3,054 men were awarded the medal. For them the medal time was 6.36.54 since Andreas Nygaard’s winning time was 4.24.36. 181 women were also awarded the medal in Vasaloppet 2018. The 2018 medal time for women was 7.02.45 since Lina Korsgren’s winning time was 4.41.50. 

(c) Vasaloppet/Hansson

The legendary blueberry soup

Ekströms blueberry soup has been served in Vasaloppet since 1958. Each participant in Vasaloppet’s Winter Week drinks about 0.7 litres of blueberry soup. Together, in 2018, they drank 38,700litres of blueberry soup, 31,500 litres of sport drinks, 12,300 litres of vegetable broth and 3,090 litres of coffee at the seven food checkpoints. Also consumed were 186,000 Vasaloppet buns. For all this, 494,000 paper cups are needed (which are, of course, recycled).

Program of 2019’s Vasaloppet

Fri 22 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 23 Feb: 
Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 24 Feb: 
Ungdomsvasan. 9/19 km Start Eldris/Hökberg.
Sun 24 Feb: 
Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 25 Feb: 
Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 26 Feb: 
Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 1 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen. 
Fri 1 Mar: Nattvasan 90. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen. 
Fri 1 Mar: Nattvasan 45. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Oxberg. 
Sat 2 Mar: Blåbärsloppet. 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 3 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen

On our website we are going to provide live news and images from the king of cross-country skiing races and also of the other two Worldloppet races taking place this weekend: Demino Skimarathon in Russia and Bieg Piastow in Poland.

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