The new season promises to be a memorable edition with two new stages and 12 Pro Teams registered.
More than 100 of the World best skiers will fight through 60 kilometres along the fjords on Wednesday 31stJuly for the Blink Classic. This opening competition will give us a first overview of which athletes can pretend to claim the final victory.
Anders Mølmen Høst from Team Serneke, 2016 and 2018 champion and 3rd on Blink Classic last year, will be one of the biggest favourite. Høst will not be the only Norwegian hoping to get a home victory. Hans Christer Holund and Simen Hegstad Kruger, both in the top 10 last year, are focusing on the classic race and will this year again play the first positions! The surprise could come back again from Russia with Artem Maltsev who did a supersonic end of the race on last year edition to take a remarkable second place. Russia will be well represented with strong athletes as Ustiugov, Retyvikh or Belov. National skier from France as Maurice Magnificat, Jean-Marc Gaillard or Adrien Backscheider will probably integrate the top 15 of the event.
The best long distance skiers will also be very motivated to take a victory that has been taken by World Cup skiers in the past 3 editions. Our favourites for the podiums are Eliassen, Aukland, Nygaard from Team Ragde Eiendom, Morten Eide Pedersen from Team Job Station, Møen Fjeld and Karlsson from Lager 157 and Hoelgaard and Berdal from Team Koteng.
In the women class, Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland is ready to defeat the long distance specialist such as Slind, Gjeitnes from Ragde Eiendom and Britta Johansson Norgren from Lager 157. Despite this quatuor, there will be more outsiders on the line who can pretend to take the first yellow bib of the summer season.
Twenty-four hours only after the first race, the terrible Lysebotn Opp with its 7,5 kilometres uphill, will be a tough challenge for every of the athletes. Morten Eide Pedersen, who just signed to a new team (Team Jobstation), was the best climber last winter on the Visma Ski Classics. The uphill race seems to be designed for him, but it is hard to tell who is going to cross the line first at the top of the Lysebotn Opp.
The world cup athlete Sjur Røthe will also be a tough contender. Keep an eye on Petter Eliassen, Anders Aukland, Tor Asle Gjerdalen who has always been extremely strong on final climb as Marcialonga.
On the women side, we can mention the two leaders of Team Koteng, Astrid Øyre Slind and Kari Vikhagen Geitnes as contenders for victory. Justyna Kowalczyk will certainly be a tough opponent too.
It will be two very exciting days in Stavanger region!
Read more about the Guide World Classic Tour Teams and the Tour here: www.worldclassictour.com