This year's FIS Marathon Cup has been absolutely dominated by Swedish racers, who have won all but one of the competitions so far this season.
On home turf at the
2007 Vasaloppet, Oskar Svaerd outperformed fellow Swede Jerry Ahrlin on the final straight to win by two seconds on Sunday.
Svaerd also won the world’s oldest, longest (90 km) and biggest
classic-technique ski race in 2003 and ’05 while Ahrlin also came 2nd
last year by two seconds and will wear the red leader's jersey into the
final stage, being certain to win this year's overall FIS Marathon Cup
Elin Ek of Sweden won the ladies’ race, the third marathon victory of the season for Ek. She will fight with Jenny Hansson and Lara Peyrot for the overall title at next weekend's finale at Switzerland's Engadin Skimarathon, where 11,000 competitors will participate.
Some 15,000 skiers started in the 83rd edition of Vasaloppet at Salen. For many of them, it would take more than 10 hours to finish the gruelling race. The course is based on a historic incident from nearly 500 years ago. In 1522, Gustav Vasa attempted to gather peasants for a revolt against the occupying Danes. Vasa fled when he got no support. The people of Mora then changed their minds and sent their two best skiers to bring Vasa back. They found him near the Norwegian border in Salen. He returned to lead the Swedes to independence, and was later proclaimed King Gustav Vasa. The Vasaloppet follows the same course from Salen to Mora.