Lillehammer, Sport | Magne Smedas: I'm back

Lillehammer, Sport |  Magne Smedas: I'm back

This is after several weeks of alternative training. The win in Engadin La Diagonela last weekend shows that she has done a really solid job even without very specific training recently.

A special relationship

– I injured what I thought was a lock in my back during a rally in Vålådalen at the beginning of November, but the pain didn't go away. An MRI later showed an overload that meant I had to stand during the first long runs, says Smedas.

She is very much looking forward to Sunday's race. Smedas has a special relationship with Italian long-distance racing. Her win last year was her first in the Ski Classics Long Distance Cup. The skier is only the third Norwegian woman to win the Marsialunga, after Hilde Germundshøj Pedersen (2007 and 2009) and Kari Vikhagen-Gjetnes (2020).

I kept a cool head

– I had returned. There is no doubt about that. My body seems strong, even though I lack some swordsmanship training. I can say that this is a fresh product, but I kept calm the whole time and used my mental coach. Sunday's race will be very special because I had a good experience last year. I wish I could do it again, but I know it will be a battle until the last metre. Girls across the country are rough during the day, Smedas says.

Marcialunga, which is being organized this year for the 51st time, is one of the most popular long-distance races throughout the season. Every year hundreds of Norwegians travel to the province of Trento in Italy to participate. The main distance of the race is 70 km, starting in Moena and ending in Cavalese.

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– It's a great ski race, with an out-of-the-ordinary atmosphere. I understand very well that Norwegians make pilgrimages here, says Smedas, who represents the Eksjöhus team.

More buildings

Other locals who will also be battling across the 70km distance in the hope of securing a podium place in the Ski Classics race are Morten Ede Pedersen (Team Eksjöhus) and Peter Staxton (Team Aker Dæhlie). They are ranked 13th and 23rd respectively heading into Sunday's race.

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Magni Smedas: – Health must come first!

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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