By Leandro Lutz & Teemu Virtanen
The Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and it has been a long way for the tour from the early days to its current existence with 12 events all around Europe. Along this renowned tour, another tour took shape and started its own journey to greatness. This is, of course, Visma Ski Classics Challengers, which was launched last year after Season IX in order to connect and promote long distance ski events worldwide and finished this month since there are no more sport events due to the current status of the world.
The Challengers tour was a great success from the get-go, and for the first season 27 events joined in 13 different countries. Norway and Sweden were extremely active as seven events were from the land of fjords and six from the home of Vasaloppet. But there were many exotic Nordic skiing countries, such as Argentina, China, USA and Iceland, that hopped on the bandwagon. When all the events were put together, there were 1,315 km of ski tracks available, and 19 events in classic technique, five in skating and three roller-ski races.
Of these 27 events, 10 had to be canceled, and three of them bowed out because of warm weather, six called off the action when the current COVID-19 pandemic spread out, and one had a very special reason for cancelation; there were reindeer in the area preventing the race from taking place.
Below you will find a complete list of the events that were held this season as well as the ones that needed to be canceled. The new season starts next month, but obviously no events are going to take place until the global pandemic has been restrained and permission granted to assemble any public gatherings. More information about Visma Ski Classics Challengers and newcomers for Season XI is coming soon – stay tuned!
- Ushuaia Loppet/ARG
- Gautefallrennet 60K/NOR
- La Venosta Skating/ITA
- Vasaloppet China/CHN
- Craft Ski Marathon/SWE
- Östersund Ski Marathon/SWE
- Les Belles Combes/FRA
- Toblach-Cortina Skating/ITA
- Furusjøen Rundt-Rennet/NOR
- Trysil Skimaraton/NOR
- American Birkebeiner/USA
- La Savoyarde Caisse d’Épargne/FRA
- Novosibirsk Classic Marathon/RUS
Events canceled due to weather issues:
- König Ludwig Lauf/GER
- Alutaguse Marathon/EST
- La Transjurassienne/FRA
Event canceled due to environmental issues (reindeer in the area):
Events canceled due to COVID-19:
- BCC Hålogalandsløpet/NOR
- Taivalkoski Pölkky/FIN