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Sweden's Tynall wins world's longest, oldest and biggest race

Sweden’s Tynall wins world’s longest, oldest and biggest race{mosimage}MORA, Sweden – Daniel Tynell of Sweden had more kick than countryman Jerry Ahrlin on the final straight to win the Vasaloppet cross-country marathon by 2 seconds on Sunday.

Tynell finished the 90-kilometer classic-style event in 4 hours, 34 minutes, 9 seconds. It was Tynell’s second victory in the world’s oldest, longest and biggest ski race. He also won in 2002.

Last year, Tynell was among the leaders but fell with one kilometer left.

“This was nice revenge after what happened last year,” Tynell said. “Winning in 2002 was the biggest thrill in my life and to win this Swedish classic again … it’s hard to describe my feelings.”

Ahrlin didn’t have as much trouble describing his feelings about the race. “Finishing runnerup in the Vasaloppet is like taking fourth in an Olympic race,” he said.

Anders Aukland of Norway finished third, while fourth place went to Stanislav Rezac, of the Czech Republic.

More than 15,000 skiers started the 82nd edition of the race at Salen, near the Norwegian border.

For many, it would take more than 10 hours to finish the grueling race. When Vasaloppet was held for the first time in 1922, all but two of the 119 starters finished.

The course is based on an historic incident from nearly 500 years ago. In 1522, Gustav Vasa attempted to gather peasants for a revolt against the occupying Danes. Vasa fled when he got no support.

The people of Mora changed their minds and sent their two best skiers to bring Vasa back. They found him near the Norwegian border in Salen. He returned to lead the Swedes to independence, and was later proclaimed King Gustav Vasa. The Vasaloppet follows the same course from Salen to Mora.

The Associated Press

Men’s 90 km Vasaloppet
Mora, Seden
March 5, 2006

1. Daniel Tynell, Sweden, 4 hours, 34 minutes, 9 seconds
2. Jerry Ahrlin, Sweden, 4:34.11
3. Anders Aukland, Norway, 4:34.15
4. Stanislav Rezac, Czech Republic, 4:34.17
5. Oscar Svard, Sweden, 4:34.36
6. Rikard Andreasson, Sweden, 4:34.37
7. Mattias Svahn, Sweden, 4:34.38
8. Jorgen Aukland, Norway, 4:34.42
9. Niklas Karlsson, Sweden, 4:34.46
10. Meelis Aasmae, Estonia, 4:36.31

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