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From Covid to Champion: How Astrid Øyre Slind won Vasaloppet

March 7, 2022

Astrid Øyre Slind (NOR) didn’t just win Vasaloppet: She crushed her competitors and the previous course record in the process, finishing the brutal 90 kilometers in 3 hours, 50 minutes and 6 seconds.

“I had amazing skis. They just kept getting better as the race went on, and I felt stronger and stronger,” Astrid Øyre Slind says about her amazing performance in the in the brutal 90-kilometer classic race from Sälen to Mora.

After a rocky recovery from Covid-19, Øyre Slind was insecure about her chances coming into Vasaloppet.

But the 33-year-old was in a league of her own, crossing the finish line three minutes ahead of the next racer, and more than two minutes faster than the previous course record.

Here’s how it happened: Øyre Slind dropped her competitors two thirds of the way, in Oxberg at the 61.6-kilometer mark. She never looked back, but nobody followed.

With 20 kilometers to go, Øyre Slind had a gap of more than a minute down to the next racer. She just kept hammering, and increased her gap. When she crossed the finish line in Mora the distance back had increased to 2:47.

“For the first part of the race, it felt really unfamiliar to go fast and hammer for so long. But once I got into the race, I just felt better, and at the end I still felt really strong,”

Øyre Slind says.

What a way to make a statement at the 100th anniversary of the legendary race.

Curious about Astrid Øyre Slind’s skis? Check out the features and specs for the Madshus Redline DP Double-Pole skis for marathon racing.

Meanwhile on the World Cup circuit, Madshus biathletes returned to the venue with a bang.

First, Anna Magnusson helped Sweden to second place in the women’s relay in Kontiolahti (FIN). Then, Sturla Holm Lægreid and Sivert Bakken opened their IBU World Cup race weekend with first place for Norway in the men’s relay.

Bakken followed up with a solid fourth place in the 10-kilometer sprint on Saturday, posting his top individual World Cup result and setting himself up for a good position for the pursuit on Sunday.

The biathlon races Kontionlahti (FIN) were the first World Cup events since before the Olympics in Beijing. Next week, the biathletes move on to Otepää, Estonia, for three days of racing. The 2022 IBU World Cup concludes in Holmenkollen (NOR), March 18 to 20.

At the FIS cross-country World Cup, Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) was second at the legendary 30-kilometer classic race in Holmenkollen on Saturday. She posted her second World Cup podium in less than a week and is certainly on a roll for the World Cup final next weekend.

The 2022 FIS cross-country World Cup concludes with three days of racing in Falun, Sweden, on March 11 through 13.

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Photo by: Nordic Focus

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Photo by: Nordic Focus