Vasaloppet course analysis by three-time winner Daniel Tynell
Daniel Tynell won his three Vasaloppet victories in 2002, 2006, and 2009. Here he takes you through the whole race course, from Sälen to Mora.
THE FIRST THREE KILOMETERS
The first three kilometers, maybe one of the most breathtaking and mighty moments of the race. 15,800 skiers leaving the start at the same time, so much energy that breaks loose like an explosion, ready to fight or survive that tough first uphill!
FLAT RECOVERY TIME
This is the part where my focus was just to recover as much as possible from the intensive start and the long climb. This part comes with 20 km of really flat terrain, passing the first official feeding station in Smågan and crossing all the mires on the way towards the second station in Mångsbodarna at 24 km.
TIME TO START PLAYING!
After passing the feeding station in Mångbodarna, there is a nice and easy 4 km long downhill to Tennäng, where the nature of the race changes, and the course switches into a long uphill up to the top in Risberg. All my focus was on mobilizing energy in the easy parts and getting ready to face and fight on that uphill. Breakaways can happen here, and you just don’t want to lose the game on the climb.
FEELING THE STRAINS
This part has always been a bit tricky for me. After 30 km of skiing and feeling the strains of the climb, you want to save as much energy as possible but still keep a good position in the field. There are a lot of small ups and downs on the way to Evertsberg, each one consuming a bit power from your body and mind.
PUSH HARD AND BREAK AWAY
This small village of Evertsberg is an exciting place. Winning the sprint here puts you in the history books with your name engraved on the stone placed in Evertsberg. This is the halfway point, and you will face the longest downhill section on the course. But soon you will reach the famous and notorious “Lundbäcksbackarna” climbs before you reach Oxberg. A lot of action always takes place on these uphills.
LIGHT YOUR FIRE!
This is where the race starts! Even though the course profile looks relatively flat, there are some quite tough parts waiting for you here. If you still have some power left, this is the perfect place to light your fire!
FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THOUGHTS!
The fast downhill directly after the feeding station in Hökberg is maybe the last chance to get some real rest and recovery time. This part has always been where I set my fighting mode in motion. On paper, this part looks flat, but there are some short hills here and there. It gets quite tactical here, and breakaways can happen. Keep the focus on your mission and stick to your milestones.
THE SPECTACULAR FINISH
Here, after passing the feeding station in Eldris, I have allowed myself to start focusing on the spectacular finish in Mora. This last part has a flat profile with tiny hills, and it goes through forests and the ski arena in Hemus before reaching Mora. The last kilometers are truly spectacular knowing that it will be over soon. I fondly recall the times when I’ve managed to get a gap and win the race, a magical and unbeatable feeling!
Source: Visma Ski Classics Pro XC Skiing magazine 2020/2021.