The 8th Vasaloppet China started on a chilly morning in about 20 minus degrees and was won about 2 and a half hours later by Chinese elite skier Xia Wan, this is the first time the race has had a male winner in the 50km class. All four top positions were actually taken by Chinese skiers with the best foreigner being Swedish Gustav Hall on 5th place. Then followed another long line of Chinese down to the 2nd foreigner Kjetil Hagvedt Dammen on 14th place.
Winner of the women’s 50km was Sun Bo who came in at 2:47:34, not 20 min later.
The chilly weather unfortunately had many people not being able to complete the race, but some who did were the skiers who are members of Vasa Veterans Club, a club for those who have raced the Swedish Vasaloppet 30 or more times. The veteran who did best today was Per Ake Akesson who came 40th in the 50km race on the time 4hours, 2min and 39sec.
In the women’s 50km race, only two competitors, Cecilia Hedin and Sarah Van Dyke, were not elite skiers part of Tour de Ski China. The two of them showed great spirit with Cecilia Hedin from Sweden taking place 13 going for almost 3h, 50 min while Sarah who was set on finishing the race, came in as nr 15, last in her group after 4h, 44min.
Toughest though was 37 time Vasa veteran Sonny Eriksson who hold out in the cold for 5h, 23min ending on 55th and last place in the men’s 50km Vasaloppet China.
Having fun in the tracks were also the about 400 mostly local people who took part in Vasa Fun Ski, going a modest 2km around in the forest of Jingyuetan Park. Changchun students also had their own race.
After participants had had buffet lunch in the race office at the arena, it was time for 100 brave youngsters to ski in the Children’s Vasa.
Click HERE to see the results of Vasaloppet China 2010
Fantastic snow sculptures were built at the arena
Sprint finish: four Chinese battle for victory
2nd best foreigner in the Chinese Vasaloppet – Kjetil Dammen Hagvedt still got lots of media attention
Icy skier after the race
Enthusiastic youth in the Students Vasa All pictures: Espen Unaas
More PICTURES from the race