For many elite skiers, the racing season is coming to an end. The World Cups are finished, but for the long-distance racers in the Ski Classics series there is still one more event to go.
After a solid third place in the challenging 50-kilometer Reistadløpet in Norway on Saturday, Madshus marathon racer Astrid Øyre Slind has already won the overall climbing competition in the 2022 Ski Classics long-distance series.
“Reistadløpet was brutal. I can’t remember the last time I had to dig so deep in a ski race. But I’m super happy with winning the overall climbing competition, and that I’ve already bagged that bib even before the entire season is over. Especially given that I missed three races this winter,” Øyre Slind says.
Overall, Øyre Slind can indeed look back on a successful winter: Despite coming down with Covid-19 in the middle of January, the 33-year-old finished second in Marcialonga, only days after recovering from Covid-19.
Then, after fighting lingering fatigue from the virus and uneven performances in February, Øyre Slind won Vasaloppet by a landslide. She dropped the field and went solo from the halfway-point in the brutal 90-kilometer race, crossing the finish line nearly three minutes ahead of the next racer.
Two weeks later, Øyre Slind wrote history in Lillehammer, becoming the first female to win the 54-kilometer Birkebeinerrennet on double-pole skis.
Last week, Øyre Slind won Årefjällsloppet in Sweden, and pulled off a perfect hattrick with a three-race winning streak.
With her third place in Reistadløpet on Saturday, Øyre Slind is currently in third place in the overall Ski Classics Champion competition.
The 2022 Ski Classics series concludes next weekend. The 70-kilometer Ylläs-Levi in Finland on Saturday April 9 is the last of the 14 events in the long-distance series.