Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
Justyna Kowalczyk (POL), Marit Bjoergen (NOR), Heidi Weng (NOR) (l-r)
Petter Northug (NOR)
Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS)
Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ)

BJOERGEN AND NORTHUG CELEBRATE VICTORY IN RUKA TRIPLE

02.12.2012
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WITH THE WORLD
Marit Bjoergen (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) secured another expected victory at last stage of Ruka Triple. The Norwegian won ahead of Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) and pocketed 200 World Cup points. Petter Northug (NOR, Fischer) was able to finish just in front of the chasing group. He won ahead of Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS, Fischer) and Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ, Fischer skis and boots).
Three athletes chasing
Behind Bjoergen soon a group of three was formed consisting of strong starting Heidi Weng (NOR), Justyna Kowalczyk and Therese Johaug (NOR, Fischer) who fighted for a podium. Kikkan Randall (USA, Fischer) started in second position but wasn't able to follow their pace. During the last lap the Polish was able to leave her opponents. Johaug was caught by her team mate at the last uphill and it became a tight fight between Kowalczyk and Weng. Kowalczyk reached the finish 1:21 minutes behind Bjoergen (at start 1:01 minutes) shortly ahead of her opponent. Johaug came in fourth. 50 seconds later Kikkan Randall finished fifth. Seventh went to Vibeke Skofterud (NOR, Fischer). "I am very satisfied with this weekend. I started well on Friday and trained a lot in classical style. In skating everything went well yesterday, too, and I focussed on my technique and had good skis. It was a great weekend and now I'll take a training break. I didn't start so fast so I was surprised that the distance didn't decrease. I am very happy", said Bjoergen.

Close finish
Although Northug increased his 40 seconds-gap during the first half of the race up to 55 seconds it became a very tight fight at the end: Soon after the start a chasing group of 16 was formed that worked well together. Shortly before the finish when the gap decreased more and more the chasing group fell apart until Maxim Vylegzhanin and Alexey Poltoranin attacked Northug in the stadium. The Norwegian was just able to stay in front and so he avoided another defeat. Dario Cologna (SUI, Fischer skis and boots) finished fourth. Fourteen seconds behind the Swiss the rest of the group finished: Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) who surprisingly took place at the whole Ruka triple despite the cold came in sixth. Dmitry Japarov (RUS, Fischer), Emil Jönsson (SWE, Fischer skis and boots) and Evgeniy Belov (RUS, Fischer) finished eighth to tenth.
10km C Handicap Women, Kuusamo (FIN):
1. Marit Bjørgen
NOR 00.31.19,40
2. Justyna Kowalczyk
POL 00.32.40,80
3. Heidi Weng
NOR 00.32.43,30
4. Therese Johaug
NOR 00.32.53,50
5. Kikkan Randall
USA 00.33.44,20
6. Krista Lähteenmäki
FIN 00.33.52,50
7. Vibeke W Skofterud
NOR 00.33.55,90
8. Kristin Störmer Steira
NOR 00.33.58,00
9. Masako Ishida
JPN 00.34.05,60
10. Nicole Fessel
GER 00.34.12,70
11. Anne Kyllönen
FIN 00.34.15,30
12. Kerttu Niskanen
FIN 00.34.17,20
13. Martine Ek Hagen
NOR 00.34.17,70
14. Katerina Smutna
AUT 00.34.18,90
15. Riikka Sarasoja
FIN 00.34.22,00
15km C Handicap Men, Kuusamo (FIN):
1. Petter jr Northug
NOR 00.41.38,30
2. Maxim Vylegzhanin
RUS 00.41.39,70
3. Alexey Poltoranin
KAZ 00.41.41,70
4. Dario Cologna
SUI 00.41.46,10
5. Ilia Chernousov
RUS 00.41.59,40
6. Martin Johnsrud Sundby
NOR 00.42.00,70
7. Alexander Legkov
RUS 00.42.02,80
8. Dmitriy Japarov
RUS 00.42.02,90
9. Emil Jönsson
SWE 00.42.08,30
10. Evgeniy Belov
RUS 00.42.09,60
11. Paal Golberg
NOR 00.42.10,80
12. Marcus Hellner
SWE 00.42.11,70
13. Sjur Röthe
NOR 00.42.13,00
14. Maurice Manificat
FRA 00.42.15,90
15. Calle Halfvarsson
SWE 00.42.23,50