Besides the regular FIS Rollerski World Cup and Junior World Championships in Latvia, as well as the largest loppet race in the southern hemisphere with the Kangaroo Hoppet in Australia, National events in Norway and Sweden brought together the FIS Cross-Country World Cup family for exciting Rollerski and Cross-Country action.
From 25th to 27th August, the Toppidrettsveka took place in the Norwegian towns of Hitra, Aura and Trondheim. Along the Norwegian National Team, the French National team, U.S. national athletes as well as a line up of further international stars from the Cross-Country World Cup, the competitions promised to be spectacular.
Thursday, 25th August – 54km
The first competition of the race-series started out with 54km in Classic technique. With around one quarter of the race length left, Swedish long-distance expert Max Novak set out around to break away from the successors. Gjøran Holstad Tefre and Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget managed to follow up. However, due to problems with the material Nyenget got set back into the large group that chased around 40 seconds behind the leading duo. Novak and Tefre up front skied out a comfortable gap for the podium spots and Novak claimed the victory 1.8 seconds before Tefre. With only 0.1 second gap to the 4th placed, Mikael Gunnulfsen took the final place on the podium.
The women’s competition started out with the men’s and distance expert Astrid Øyre Slind caught the men’s pace into the competition and kept up until her contenders were out of sight. With an incredible 12 minute margin, Slind decided the womens race for herself.
Lotta Udnes Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvå had joined forces throughout the race and crossed the finish line a half second apart.
Friday, 26th August – Sprint
The worlds top-Sprinters met up for the second race day of the Toppidrettsveka in the town of Aure. Sprint World Cup winner Maja Dahlqvist put the hammer down – also on Rollerskis – and won every heat of her race. In the finals, the 28 year-old claimed the victory before Ane Appelkvist Stenseth and Lotta Udnes Weng, who claimed her second podium spot of the weekend.
In the action packed men’s race, Sprint World Cup winner Richard Jouve and his team colleagues from France were not the only elite Sprinters on the start list. Pål Trøan Aune, from Norway, Qiang Wang from China and Erik Valnes had set the fastest time in qualification. The trio met again in the finals, together with Even Northug (NOR), Aron Åkre Rysstad (NOR) and Richard Jouve.
A photo finish proved that Erik Valnes crossed the finish line first, before Aune and Qiang Wang.
Saturday, 27th August – 15km F / Pursuit
The Granåsen Skistadium in Trondheim was the location for the final day of the Toppidrettsveka. Anne Kjersti Kalvå won the 15km on Saturday morning and took a 15 second lead to second placed Hedda Østberg Amundsen. Third placed Marte Skaanes followed with a 6 second gap.
Kalvå was not to be caught up with in the pursuit race that followed in the afternoon and thus was crowned the Overall winner before Maria Hartz Melling (NOR) and Maja Dahlqvist from Sweden.
The winner of the Toppidrettsveka in the men’s category was Harald Østberg Amundsen from Norway who passed second placed Richard Jouve with a margin of 40 seconds. Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget claimed the final podium spot.