Long distance classic for both women and men starts on Saturday 28th of November. The women start with 10km at 10:40 EET, and men continue later with 15km at 13:45.

Iivo Niskanen is pre-favourite in 15 kilometres classic

Men’s frontrunner Iivo Niskanen comes from Finland and has won Ruka’s World Cup three times in 2014, 2016 and 2019. Niskanen is known as a World Champion and a double Olympic gold medalist. 

Iivo Niskanen is the Finnsih pre-favourite .
Iivo Niskanen is the Finnish pre-favourite .

Potentially the biggest challenger for Niskanen is Russian Aleksandr Bolshunovia. This 23-years-old Russian has achieved three Olympic silver medals and four World Championship silver medals during his career. Bolshunov, who won the World Cup overall last season, has often lost the gold medal of the struggle to Niskanen. Bolshunovia is definitely prepared and ready to challenge Niskanen.

Norway, which has won triple on Fridays sprint, should also not be underestimated. The winner Johannes Hösflot Kläbo finished second in a similar competition last season when Niskanen won the pursuit. Another competitor Emil Iversen, who lost just a tiny bit to Niskanen last year, seems to be in top condition this year.

Swedes challenge in women & there’s no doubt about pre-favourite

The biggest pre-favourites for women’s 10km come from Norway. Last year Therese Johaug won the pursuit. In Beitostölen Johaug won both ten kilometers classics leaving behind a young Helene Marie Fossesholm with potential all the way to the top. 

The three-time World Cup winner Johaug is going to Saturday’s race with confidence.

– “Feels really good. The sprint is now behind and I hope to do well in my skiing this weekend. I think this is going to be good”, Therese Johaug said after Friday’s sprint.

Frida Karlsson is one of the toughest challengers for the Norwegian skier in advance.
Frida Karlsson is one of the toughest challengers for the Norwegian skier in advance.

Sweden’s Ebba Anderson and Frida Karlsson are the toughest challengers for the Norwegian Johaug in advance. At the Swedish national competition, Ebba Anderson was three seconds faster on this particular trip. Despite this, it’s assumed that tomorrow’s competition will be very steady.


Original text by Erasmus Envall & Henri Honkala

English text by Ida Konttila

Photos by Miika Venäläinen

Laajasalon opisto