John Kristian Dahl and Laila Kveli win Vasaloppet 2014
Source: Worldloppet press
John Kristian Dahl, Norway, won Vasaloppet 2014, and thus became the fourth Norwegian man to win the race. Laila Kveli, also from Norway, repeated her last year’s victory by again winning the ladies’ class.
Earlier Norwegian winners of the Vasaloppet gents’ class are Ole Elefsaeter 1971, Anders Aukland 2004 and Jörgen Aukland 2008 och 2013.
14,611 (preliminary figure) of the 15,800 registered entries were at the start for the 90th Vasaloppet.
After passing Risberg, Espen Harald Bjerke drew away from the leading group on the way to Evertsberg. At the Hill Prize in Evertsberg, Bjerke’s lead over the following group was 1.49.
After 3 hours and 44 minutes skiing, Bjerke was caught up by Audun Laugaland, the Norwegian who had broken away from the big following group by a few seconds.
Passing Eldris, with nine kilometres left, Laugaland had a lead of 35 seconds. But he was the hunted prey for the bigger group where John Kristian Dahl chased best together with his team-mate Johan Kjölstad and the three times Vasaloppet winner Jörgen Brink.
Dahl was strongest towards the finish and won by three seconds before Kjölstad and five before Brink.
“I made a real push and used my last reserves and got a few metres,” says Dahl. “Conditions were tough today. I tested roughed up skis before the start, but chose to ski with “smooth”,” said a tired but extremely happy winner.”I was pretty worn out around 60-70 kilometres, but so were we all,” said the victor.
“I was aiming to win but it wasn’t quite enough. They’re strong, these boys in yellow!” said third placed Jörgen Brink, indicating Dahl and Kjölstad’s team attire!
Brink was laid down with a fever earlier in the week, but recovered and took his placing in spite of this. “Had a sort of dizziness during the week, everything wheeling around in my head, and I was in bed until Thursday. But I picked up and skied a bit yesterday. Today it felt very, very much better than I’d expected,” said Brink.
The ladies’ class
At the beginning, Britta Johansson Norgren and Laila Kveli took turns in the lead with Annika Löfström in third place. Johansson Norgren took the Hill Prize in Evertsberg, eight seconds before Kveli. Then the Norwegian took over the lead. In Oxberg, Kveli led by eleven seconds before Johansson Norgren and 28 seconds before Löfström. Laila increased her lead and at Hökberg it had grown to 1.10 before Annika and Britta who then were together.
Towards the end Britta got nearer, having broken away from her team-mate Löfström. But this was nothing that Laila knew about. “After Evertsberg I had just gone “all in” all the way so I’m very happy that I made it,” says Kveli.
Kveli is the first lady skier to win Vasaloppet without grip wax. “I tried not to drive too hard on the start hill. Then I had good skis, good control over myself and the distance,” says the Norwegian.
Britta Johansson Norgren chose roughed skis. “I think that was best for me today. The skis went a little heavier where there was fresh snow. But I felt some stomach cramp around Evertsberg. It would probably have been tough for me to pole the whole distance. I’ve done all I could today, so I’m very pleased about that,” says Johansson Norgren.
Vasaloppet 2014 again
Wherever you are in the world, watch the whole Vasaloppet 2014 again, with English commentary at Swix Ski Classics Live Center http://www.swixskiclassics.com
Entry registration to the 91st Vasaloppet 8 March 2015 and the other races in Vasaloppets winter week 2015 opens on Sunday 16 March at 09.00, on vasaloppet.se
Spurt prize winners 2014
Smågan: Eldar Rönning, Norway, 31.23
Mångsbodarna: Eldar Rönning, Norway, 1.06.25
Risberg: Eldar Rönning, Norway, 1.35.05
Evertsberg: Espen Harald Bjerke 2.12.22 and Britta Johansson Norgren 2.20.04
Oxberg: Espen Harald Bjerke 2.50.01
Hökberg: Espen Harald Bjerke 3.18.53
Eldris: Audun Laugaland 3.50.04
RESULTS Vasaloppet 2014, men:
1 John Kristian Dahl (NOR) 4.14.33
2 Johan Kjölstad (NOR) 4.14.36
3 Jörgen Brink (SWE) 4.14.38
4 Audun Laugaland (NOR) 4.14.42
5 Stanislav Rezac (CZE) 4.15.50
6 Andreas Nygaard (NOR) 4.14.50
7 Daniel Tynell (SWE) 4.14.52
8 Stian Hoelgaard (NOR) 4.14.52
9 Oskar Svärd (SWE) 4.14.52
10 Christoffer Callesen (NOR) 4.14.52
RESULTS Vasaloppet 2014, ladies:
1 Laila Kveli (NOR) 4.31.57
2 Britta Johansson Norgren (SWE) 4.33.06
3 Annika Löfström (SWE) 4.33.48
4 Susanne Nyström (SWE) 4.37.22
5 Seraina Boner (SUI) 4.40.49
6 Liv Inger Bjerkreim Nilsen (NOR) 4.41.10
7 Kristina Roberto (SWE) 4.42.24
8 Maria Gräfnings (SWE) 4.43.15
9 Maria Nordström (SWE) 4.44.05
10 Nina Lintzén (SWE) 4.44.12
Full results can be found at www.vasaloppet.se