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Lahti gets to “borrow” the classic Kollen femmila – the first time in 40 years

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Lahti, Finland 20240303. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo after winning the freestyle sprint during the World Cup competition in Lahti. Photo: Vesa Moilanen/LEHTIKUVA / NTB

Of NTB | 05/09/2024 15:14:01

Sport: It was finally decided at this week’s meeting of the cross-country committee of the International Skiing and Snowboarding Federation (FIS) in Portoroz, Slovenia.

The cross-country World Cup races in Holmenkollen next season will be added on March 15 and 16. It is the weekend after the WC in Trondheim has ended. Instead of five miles, there will be distance races over 10 and 20 kilometers.

The reason is that the championship in Granåsen ends with five miles for both sexes. With that as a backdrop, the FIS cross-country skiers have decided that it will not make sense to have a new five-mile only one week later in Holmenkollen.

Instead, space has been found for the distance when the circus moves on to Lahti two weeks after the WC. The five mile race in Lahti will therefore take place on Sunday 23 March.

He represents Norway in the FIS World Cup Committee.

Several skiing profiles, including Astrid Øyre Slind, have expressed fear that the Kollen five-mile could be history when it did not get a place on the schedule in 2025.

– This is a race we have to take care of, I think. It is so rare that we have such a framework around skiing. I didn’t think along the way that we should rather walk three miles, Slind told NTB after the winter edition.

Aune reassures those who fear that the Kollen party will disappear.

– We register great interest in the five-mile run in Holmenkollen, but it is on the long-term term list from 2026, he says to NTB.

At the same time, Lahti has hosted three world championships since then, all with a men’s 50 kilometer on the program. The first time was in 1989 with Gunde Svan as the winner.

In 2001 Johann Mühlegg won, while Canadian Alex Harvey won the gold in 2015. It is a curiosity that no Norwegians were on the podium in any of the three WC races mentioned.

– We would have liked to have five miles in Holmenkollen in 2025 as well, but unfortunately the event is too close to the WC in Trondheim. That’s why it’s nice that Lahti gets to “borrow” our prestigious five-mile, says national team manager Ulf Morten Aune to NTB.

The last time a World Cup five-mile was organized in Lahti was way back in 1985. That time Tor Håkon Holte went to the top ahead of Swedish Jan Ottosson and Finnish legend Harri Kirvesniemi.

(© NTB)

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