By Theresa Fugger
The first Visma Ski Classics Challengers event of the season, Salzburg-rollt, took place today in Salzburg, Austria.
The 30 km race in free technique was won by Barbara Walchhofer, Skimarathon Team Austria and Anze Gros, NŠD Medvode.
The 30 km race with 7 laps of 4255 m was the first opportunity for Visma Ski Classics Pro Team athletes to gain points that count to the Champion bib competition.
Even though local restrictions regarding the ongoing pandemic were in place, the organizer provided a fair and exciting competition. The temperature of each individual entering the premises was measured at the only entrance to the event location and participants started with a start interval of 15 seconds.
The main race with 30km in free technique started at 13:45 local time after the public could roller ski freely on the racetrack Salzburgring where otherwise only race cars and motorbikes do their laps. Participants from five different nations traveled to the event where they raced on wet grounds. In addition to the high speed at Salzburgring, the rainy asphalt conditions presented a unique challenge to the athletes. Just in time for the start of the 30km, the sun fought its way back through the clouds.
The women showed a strong performance on the 30 km course leading to a win for Visma Ski Classics Pro Team athlete Barbara Walchhofer, Skimarathon Team Austria, followed by Hana Mazi Jamnik, NŠD Medvode, in 2nd place and Melina Schöttes, Ski Club Oberhundem, in 3rd place. Prize money was also distributed to Rosa Zimare, SG Klotzsche, in 4th place and Gina Bin, Skimarathon Team Austria, in 5th place.
The men’s race offered a thrilling battle throughout all seven laps. Five athletes frequently changed the first positions, amongst them two Visma Ski Classics Pro Team athletes Phil Bellingham and Matthias Fugger.
After the last lap, the Slovenian Anze Gros, NŠD Medvode, ranked 1st, followed by Benjamin Moser, SV Achensee, in 2nd place and Visma Ski Classics Pro Team athlete Matthias Fugger, xc-ski.de AIN Skimarathon Team, in 3rd place. The Top 5 was completed by Gal Gros, NŠD Medvode and Phil Bellingham, Skimarathon Team Austria.
Top five in the men’s race. Photo: Michael Geißler.
The results of Salzburg-rollt can be found on https://vismaskiclassics.com/livecenter/.
Alliansloppet in Sweden on October 10 is the next Visma Ski Classics Challengers event before the winter season kicks off in Livigno on November 27 with the first two Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour events. An overview of all Pro Tour and Challengers events can be found on https://vismaskiclassics.com/the-tour/events/.
Top picture. Photo: Michael Geißler.