- I see that there are ten mushers in postion to win

Written by: Morten Broks/ Trine Kvidal-Røvik
Date: 15.03.2017 10:28

An extremely high level, with more potential gold winners than ever, a tactical battle over the Saltdalshytta cabin, rough weather conditions and tracks that several mushers know really well. These are reasons why only two hours separate team one and nine coming into Neiden 2, according to our expert Trond Ørslien.



Finnmark Race expert Trond Ørslien. (Photo: Morten Broks)

- Right now, the race is so even that it is difficult to point out a specific winner. Only two hours separate the first nine teams coming to Neiden 2. It is still very open in the lead, says Finnmark Race-expert Trond Ørslien.


Øslien predictied this situation even before the start of the 2017 Finnmark Race. He had several resons for predicting such an even race.

- Many of the mushers in the lead have finished FL-1000 several times, and are quite experienced. Many have a good basis for developing a very good race plan. This results in a more even race than ever. The width has perhaps never been greater.


Petter Jahnsen is one of the mushers in the lead, and is taking part of the battle over the cabin. (Photo: Niels Westphal)

In addition, many mushers are interested in winning the Saltdalshytta cabin, which will be awarded to the team with the best result from the FL-1000 race 2016 and 2017 accumulated.

- Favorites for winning the cabin are not taking any chances. Many are playing it safe right now, says Ørslien, who was one to win a cabin in 2009.

Ørslien also thinks that the rough weather has contributed to the even race.

- Across the Ifjord mountain toward Tana, the weather was really bad. No one wanted to leave Levajok before Petter Karlsson, who was the first to leave. The others then followed right after him.



Thomas Wærner is going for gold, but did not race last year, and can thus not win the Saltdalshytta cabin. (Photo: Niels Westpahl

Ten can win

Ørslien thinks that it will be clearer which teams stand out in the battle for the gold after checkpoint Varangerbotn.

- This is one of the most exciting FL-race in many years. I can think of ten potential winners, says Ørslien.