Olsson and Hovdenak won Cykelvasan 90, 2018
Michael Olsson, Team Serneke Allebike, and Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, Nesset CK, won the tenth Cykelvasan this Saturday. Both winning cyclists settled the outcome on the final stretch with very strong spurt finishes.
"It's huge to win this and so wonderful for the team. We bike so well together," said Michael Olsson.
Cykelvasan, first held in 2009, had over 25,000 registered participants this year, of which 13,000 were in the main race, Cykelvasan 90 between Sälen and Mora.
A large group held the lead for a long time in the men’s class. Halfway, in Evertsberg, the group consisted of 41 cyclists. Emil Lindgren took the hill prize ahead of Norwegian Thomas Engelsgjerd.
Up to Oxberg, via the Lundbäck slopes, things started happening in the big group. At the checkpoint Dennis Wahlqvist and Johan Landström broke free from the group, creating a gap of 15 seconds to the eleven cyclists behind.
A crucial stage followed when Michael Olsson and Norwegian Emil Hasund Eid caught up between Hökberg and Eldris.
”It was incredibly hard work once we got ahead. I was cramping up a bit towards the end. I tried to drive hard, but not too hard,” Olsson, from Stenungsund, said after the race, continuing:
”I knew I had Emil and Dennis (team mates Lindgren and Wahlqvist) behind me. So I felt pretty safe and like I didn’t have to max out. I knew they’d take it if I didn’t.”
On the final stretch in Mora there was no question. The sharp country road cyclist Michael Olsson was strongest on the final stretch. These last three years he has placed 13th, 28th and 8th in Cykelvasan.
How do you value this victory?
”It’s huge to win this and so wonderful for the team. We bike so well together. This is on my career top three, right after my two Swedish country road championship golds.”
Hasund, in second place, was satisfied with his first Cykelvasan.
”It was a great race and I’m very happy. I had not biked any part of the course before so everything was new.”
”I did not have a chance on the final stretch. I was completely finished. But I might come back and win it next year,” Emil Hasund Eid says with a smile.
Emil Lindgren, Team Serneke Allebike, came first in the following group. The goal had been victory but Emil was very happy to see his team win.
”This was fantastic. A great race from all of us. We biked incredibly well,” says Emil who took his fourth top-three position in Cykelvasan.
”I am super happy. Of course I wanted to win but this was a win for the team. Dennis pushed hard in Evertsberg as planned. I had thought of making an attack towards the end but we were so close and I had to change strategies and observe.”
When the women, who started 45 minutes before the men, came to Risberg the leading group was six cyclists strong: Linn Gustafzzon, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, Hanna Bergman, Jennie Stenerhag and Sandra Salinger.
That group stuck together up until Evertsberg where Gustafzzon passed the checkpoint first, a few seconds before the others. In Oxberg Salinger was 30 seconds ahead.
In Hökberg Hanna Bergman was first together with Stenerhag, Hovdenak and Dahle Flesjå. Linn Gustafzzon was out of the game at that point.
The four cyclists took turns leading the way to Mora and on the final stretch Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, 33 years old today, was strongest.
The Norwegian thereby took her second Cykelvasan victory. She also won in 2014. After about 30 km Hovdenak fell, which also affected her decisions during the rest of the race.
”It cost me a lot to rejoin the leading group. So after that I didn’t go for any spurt prizes, I felt I had to save it all for the final spurt,” says Hovdenak.
”I was really longing to win this again. It was truly wonderful to make it and it feels so great to win here. It’s such an incredibly good event, and pleasant after finishing.”
Hovdenak has now come fourth in 2013, first in 2014, second in 2016, fourth in 2017 and first in 2018!
Hanna Bergman, Falu CK, who won the first Cykelvasan in 2009 and who, participating six times, has never placed lower than fourth, was happy to cross the finish line second today.
”The race was a bit different compared to previous years. I thought it went fairly slow for a long time.”
How did you experience the finish?
”We took turns leading for a long time but with a kilometre to go all that stopped and we had to be cunning. I usually can’t hold back but this time I thought I’d stay behind. Hovdenak was excellent in the spurt but this was the first time I beat Jennie (Stenerhag) in a spurt. So I am happy and satisfied.
Four-time winner Stenerhag who fought her way back from a very difficult thigh injury had to settle for third place this time.
”Honestly I’m glad I was even part of the final spurt. I didn’t think I would be. I had nothing in my legs today. It was painful and heavy. I should be really glad that I cracked the top ten today,” says Stenerhag.
Last in the spurt for top-three places and fourth across the finish line was Norway’s mountain bike legend Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, Olympic gold medallist 2004 and multiple World Champion.
What do you have to say about the race?
”It was nice, and flat. Very few slopes. But we cycled in a nice, even group. But for me it was a bit confusing since I wasn’t familiar with the spurt prizes and the course.”
”I didn’t have a good grasp of the finish either so I pushed a bit early. But Hildegunn deserved to win, she was strong.”
Cykelvasan continues this Sunday with the competition Ungdomscykelvasan as well as the leisure races Cykelvasan 30 and Cykelvasan 45 – all starting in Oxberg. Want to participate? Registration is possible all the way up until the start!
Registration for Cykelvasan 2019 opens on Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 09:00 on Vasaloppet’s website! Want to be reminded when registration is getting close? Register your email today at www.vasaloppet.se
Cykelvasan, competition class 94 km Sälen-Mora, women, 2018-08-11
1 Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, (NOR), Nesset CK, 3.04.39
2 Hanna Bergman, (SWE), Falu CK, 3.04.39
3 Jennie Stenerhag, (SWE), Falu CK, 3.04.39
4 Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, (NOR), Team Merida GunnRita/Sola Cykleklubb, 3.04.39
5 Sandra Salinger, (SWE), Mix Sports Club, 3.05.14
6 Fanny Kjellqvist, (SWE), Godegårds SK, 3.07.59
7 Louise Rundqvist, (SWE), COR Cycling Team -Värnamo CK, 3.07.59
8 Jessica Clarén, (SWE), TEAM SHE RIDES powered by SCOTT, 3.08.02
9 Åsa Erlandsson, (SWE), Varbergs MTB/Haibike, 3.08.02
10 Erica Zetterlund, (SWE), Hjo VK, 3.08.08
Cykelvasan, competition class 94 km Sälen-Mora, men, 2018-08-11
1 Michael Olsson, (SWE), Team Serneke Allebike, 2.40.16
2 Emil Hasund Eid, (NOR), Kloppa Offroad Klubb, 2.40.18
3 Emil Lindgren, (SWE), Serneke Allebike MTB TEAM, 2.40.23
4 Dennis Wahlqvist, (SWE), Serneke Allebike CK, 2.40.23
5 Matthias Wengelin, (SWE), Länna sport CK, 2.40.24
6 Johan Norén, (SWE), Serneke Allebike MTB Team, 2.40.24
7 Alexander Wetterhall, (SWE) Team Tre Berg CK, 2.40.24
8 Fredrik Haraldseth, (NOR), Swix Hard Rocx, 2.40.24
9 Erik Mattelin, (SWE), Highland Cycling, 2.40.24
10 Johan Landström, (SWE), Lycka IF, 2.40.24
Footnote: Hill prizes in Evertsberg were won this year by Linn Gustafzzon, time 1.41.35, and Emil Lindgren, 1.30.13.
Vasaloppet.TV is streaming live online all weekend
Swedish Television is broadcasting a 45-minute summary from Cykelvasan 2018 on SVT1 and SVT Play on Sunday, August 12 at 18:15–19.00
Winners Cykelvasan 2009–2018, men
2009 Matthias Wengelin, Cykloteket RT, 2.43.27
2010 Magnus Darvell, Team Kalas/Pedalogerna, 2.39.00 (Record time!)
2011 Jesper Dahlström, Motala AIF Cykelklubb, 2.47.32
2012 Jesper Dahlström, Team Cykelcity, 2.47.20
2013 Fredrik Ericsson, CK Cykelcity.se, 2.43.01
2014 Johan Landström, Motala AIF/SCOTT 2.45.59
2015 Alexander Wetterhall, Team Tre Berg – BIANCHI, 2.44.35
2016 Lucas Eriksson, Serneke Allebike CK, 2.40.04
2017 Jonas Ahlstrand, Team ORMSALVA, 2.41.26
2018 Michael Olsson, Team Serneke Allebike, 2.40.16
Winners Cykelvasan 2009–2018, women
2009 Hanna Bergman, Falu CK, 3.09.05
2010 Emmy Thelberg, Härnösands CK, 2.54.53
2011 Pia Sundstedt, Finland, 2.56.19
2012 Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, 3.02.06
2013 Alexandra Engen, GHOST Factory RT/Jönköpings CK, 2.55.37
2014 Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, Norway, 2.53.44 (Record time!)
2015 Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, 2.57.22
2016 Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, 3.07.49
2017 Jennie Stenerhag, Falu CK, 3.05.26
2018 Hildegunn Gjertrud Hovdenak, Norway, 3.04.39
A lot is happening in Sälen and Mora during Vasaloppet’s Summer Week 2018
Take part in the whole programme
Events in the Vasaloppet Arena
Vasaloppet Summer Week 2018
Fri 10 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen.
Fri 10 Aug: Cykelvasasprinten. 1 km. Lindvallen, Sälen. (Open qualifier on Thursday)
Sat 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen. (FULL 180319)
Sun 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 12 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 18 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 18 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 18 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4,5–15 km. Running relay for ten-person teams. Start Sälen.
Sat 18 Aug: Vasakvartetten. 19.1–24.2 km. Running relay for four-person teams. Start Sälen.
Vasaloppet Winter Week 2019
Fri 22 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 23 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 24 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 9/19 km Start Eldris/Hökberg.
Sun 24 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 25 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 26 Feb: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 1 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen.
Fri 1 Mar: Nattvasan. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen.
Sat 2 Mar: Blåbärsloppet. 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 3 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (FULL 180318)