Jörgen Aukland wins Vasaloppet

Norwegian skier Jörgen Aukland has won the Vasalopp cross-country ski race on Sunday. Aukland won the 90 km race in 4 hours 13 minutes and 45 seconds.

Jörgen Aukland wins Vasaloppet

Jörgen Aukland was followed over the finishing line in Mora by his brother Anders in 4:17:14 seconds. The first Swede to complete the race was Jerry Ahrlin in third in a time of 4:18:03.

Aukland pulled away from his brother at the Oxberg checkpoint and led for the final 30 kilometres, holding on to win for the first time. He has previously come runner-up twice and third three times.

When asked by SVT how long he had dreamed of winning the race Aukland replied:

“Since I was six years old and watched the race on television in Norway.”

As Jörgen Aukland was the first to pass a newly built viaduct near the end of the race it will now bear his name.

Aukland is the third Norwegian to have won the Vasalopp race, according to SVT.


Vasaloppet ski race saved by last-minute snow dump

Sweden's oldest and most famous ski race, the Vasaloppet, has been rescued at the last minute by a snowstorm which coated the track and surrounding landscape just hours before the start.

Vasaloppet ski race saved by last-minute snow dump
Competitors set off into light snow and wind. Photo: Ulf Palm/TT
Racers set off from Sälen at 8am on Sunday into light wind and snow. 
“There's going to be fairly fairly heavy snowfall up until this morning,” Malva Lindborg, a meteorologist for Swedish state forecaster SMHI. Roar Inge Hansen, a meteorologist for the private forecaster Storm, predicted as much as 20cm of snow would fall over the day. 
As they arrived to compete, racers welcomed the snow, although some pointed out it would make the race more of a challenge. 
With an unusually warm winter leaving much of central and southern Sweden practically snowless, racers were fearing long into February they would end up skiing through rain, surrounded by snowless forest and fields. 
The organisers had been forced to manufacture artificial snow, drive it out and dump it on the track to make sure it could be skied. 
Colder weather over the last month had already made the track better than feared even before the snowfall on Saturday night.  
The race, which was first held in 1922, follows the path of the young nobleman Vasa Ericsson Vasa, as he fled Christian II, the then King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 
But while Gustav Vasa travelled from Mora to Sälen, the race follows the 90km track in the opposite direction.