Ralph against Robert - again

Author: Fredrik Ljone Holst (transl. Femke van Gastel)     Photo: Geir Sørmoen     Publish date: 02.02.13 12:44

Ralph Johannessen and Robert Sørlie arrived at Søvollen checkpoint as if it was the finishline. There weren't many hundred meters between the two and this time, it was Ralph that won.

Ralph Johannessen at Søvollen 2013

It is possible that the 'old'guys wanted to prove that they may be old, but they are still first, at least when a third of the race has been completed. The distance in time is two minutes, about the same time that devided them when they left the last checkpoint in last years Femundløpet.

Ralph admits that the stage from Drevsjø til Søvollen became a duel between the two, while Sigrid Ekran was left behind relatively fast.
- We probably went a little bit faster than we should have done, says Ralph. He was in lead most of the way, and he is quick to explain why it was him that had to make the trail.
- You weren't working on the slopes!
The answer from Robert comes just as fast, followed by a smile and laughter:
- I can say the say as you: "I could have easily caught up again"!

Neither Ralph or Robert has taken the first mandatory rest yet and both will therefore have to stay at Søvollen for about eight hourse. The time alignment gives Ralph a slight advantage; with startnummer 32 against Roberts 14, Ralph has 18 minutes headstart on his rival, plus the two minutes that were between them when they arrived at the mountain farm in Rendalen. Ralph can leave Søvollen at 19.35 Saturday evening.

...from behind, Arnt Ola Skjerve looms. With his mandatory rest fulfilled at Drevsjø, he has good time to cross the mountain and maybe snack and take a little break, while still maintaining his headstart over the two who were higher on the podium than him at Femundløpet 2012.