With the Blinkfestivalen coming up from 3rd to 6th August, the Rollerski competition season goes into full swing. The prestigious event takes place annually around the city of Sandnes, located around 500km west of Oslo, close to the south-western Norwegian coast. It marks the beginning of the Rollerski competition season and welcomes international skiers from 21 countries for its 17th edition this year.
The international line-up of top athletes will first meet at the traditional “Lysebotn Opp” race. A 7.5km track with an altitude difference of 640m.
No one less than Cross-Country icon Therese Johaug has set the track record of 30:45 minutes at last years competition. The runner up, Heidi Weng, is entered to defend her superb result as well as last year’s third placed Delpine Claudel from France. The course track – that reminds of the prestigious Alpe Cermis race during the Tour de Ski – might just be of Claudel’s taste, as the 26 year-old has repeatedly showed impressive performances on the “Final Climb”.
Getting to race the Lysebotn Opp competition, along a road that impressively meanders up the hill to the mountain top, surely found its place on the “to do” list of many athletes. Therefore, also the mens starting field is announced to be the meeting point of Norwegian national athletes, competing against their opponents from the winter races from national teams of France, Great Britain, Sweden and more.
A special edition of the Lysebotn Opp race marks the double poling event and is directed to the Cross-Country specialists who compete at the Visma Ski Classics. But the record holder of this discipline can be followed at FIS Cross-Country World Cup competitions in winter and comes from the British Team. Andrew Musgrave is the defending champion – and entered to defend his title, even after suffering a shoulder injury at the beginning of the past season.