With the air temperature hovering around the critical minus 20 degree Celcius mark Anders Hoegberg claimed his career third and second consecutive victory in the 11th Vasaloppet China in Changchun today. The 37-year-old Swede outsprinted his compatriot Oscar Kardin to finish the 52.5km classic style race in 2:41:13. As such, Hoegberg is now the sole record holder in Changchun with three triumphs.
Hoegberg, who has been focussing on marathon skiing in recent months and will therefore not compete in the other six and shorter stages of China Tour de Ski, skied aggressively despite the icy conditions and was already in the lead after the first of three laps around Jingyuetan Park. The third place on the podium went to another Swede, Bill Niemi-Impola, who was not far behind in 2:41:39. China Tour de Ski favourite for the overall Kusti Kittilae from Finland came in fourth, roughly two minutes back, but fellow-man-to-watch Adam Johansson had an offday finishing 33rd and 45 minutes down on Hoegberg.
The women’s race was dominated by the Chinese skiers, who scored a 1-2-3. Chen Shuang was just under a minute faster than Chi Chunxue in 3:08:04.
For more results and images, please check the Vasaloppet China website
China Tour de Ski continues with two stages in Inner Mongolia’s Xiwuqi on 4 and 5 January. Skiers should be prepared for more colder than usual weather. More news from Xiwuqi coming tomorrow!