With increasing cases of Covid-19 infections in Italy and most European countries during the last couple of weeks, Visma Ski Classics has decided to postpone the start of Season XI. The start is now planned to mid-January with the expectation that the situation will improve by the end of the year. To strengthen the later part of the season, a new event has been added: Årefjällsloppet 100 km on March 27th!
In the plan B the first events of the season will take place in Zuoz, Switzerland. The Pro Team Tempo moved from November in Livigno to January 14th, two days before Engadin La Diagonela on January 16th. Toblach-Cortina take place on January 23rd and Marcialonga the weekend after. La Venosta was postponed from December to the weekend after Marcialonga on February 7th. Followed by Jizerska50 on February 14th before the tour head north to Scandinavia.
Vasaloppet is next in line on March 7th. Due to strict governmental restrictions for events in Sweden, the Vasaloppet organisation has decided to host Vasaloppet March 7th exclusively for elite skiers including all Pro Team athletes. Vasaloppet offers other events for recreational skiers of all levels, more information is found on Vasaloppet.se
Birkebeinerrennet on March 20th follows as planned before the new event in the calendar, Årefjällsloppet on March 27th.
Årefjällsloppet was part of Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour Seasons III-VII and is now back with a new course of 100 km for the elite skiers, the longest distance so far in Visma Ski Classics' history. The longer distance is apon request from the Pro Team athletes. Årefjällsloppet start and finish in Vålådalen, Sweden and includes two Sprint positions: Vålådalen 15,7 km / Ottsjö 25 km and two Climb positions: Ytterstvallen 32 km / Ripkalhöjden 39 km. The main event for recreational skiers is 55 km and the 100 km will only be for elite skiers, more information will be found on Arefjallsloppet.se
Arefjallsloppet. Photo by Magnus Osth
The season XI plan B ends up as planned with Resistadløpet on April 10th and Ylläs-Levi April 17th.
Ski Classics acknowledges the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting societies around the world. Ski Classics' top priorities are the safety of everyone involved in Visma Ski Classics and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to build the long-distance skiing community. Ski Classics considers professional and mass participation events important facilitators for social community and public health and believes that it is possible to conduct events in a responsible way with limited risk of COVID-19 spread.
Read more about Visma Ski Classics precautions concerning the coronavirus: vismaskiclassics.com/covid-19
Event 1: Jan. 14, 2021, Pro Team Tempo, 17 km, Zuoz, Switzerland
Event 2: Jan. 16, 2021, Engadin La Diagonela, 65 km ,Zuoz, Switzerland
Event 3: Jan. 23, 2021, Toblach-Cortina, 42 km, Toblach-Cortina, Italy
Event 4: Jan. 31, 2021, Marcialonga*, 70 km, Trentino, Italy
Event 5: Feb. 7, 2021, La Venosta, 45 km, La Venosta, Italy
Event 6: Feb. 14, 2021, Jizerská Padesátka*, 50 km, Bedrichov, Czech Republic
Event 7: Mar. 7, 2021, Vasaloppet*, 90 km, Sälen-Mora, Sweden
Event 8: Mar. 20, 2021, Birkebeinerrennet*, 54 km, Rena-Lillehammer, Norway
Event 9: Mar. 27, 2021, Årefjällsloppet, 100 km, Vålådalen, Sweden
Event 10: Apr. 10, 2021, Reistadløpet, 50 km, Setermoen-Bardufoss, Norway
Event 11: Apr. 17, 2021, Ylläs-Levi, 70km, Ylläs-Levi, Finland
*Grand Classics events, where higher prize money and competition points are distributed.
Årefjällsloppet 100 km.