Lars Nelson, Daniel Richardsson, Johan Olsson, Marcus Hellner (SWE) (l-r)
Alexander Bessmerthnykh, Alexander Legkov, Dmitiy Japarov, Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS) (l-r)
Jean Marc Gaillard, Maurice Manificat, Robin Duvillard, Ivan Perrillat Boiteux (FRA) (l-r)
SWEDEN'S MEN'S RELAY STORMS TO OLYMPIC VICTORY
Team Sweden consisting of Lars Nelson, Daniel Richardsson, Johan Olsson and Marcus Hellner (all SWE) are the new Olympic Champions in men's cross-country relay. Silver went to the local heroes from Russia composed of Alexander Bessmerthnykh, Dmitriy Japarov, Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin (all RUS) followed by surprisingly strong Frenchmen Robin Duvillard, Jean Marc Gaillard, Maurice Manificat and Ivan Perillat Boiteux (all FRA).
Swedish skiers celebrate unchallenged Olympic title
Already two days ago in press conference Daniel Richardsson announced surely they will add a gold medal which the team realized already in today's relay. The Swedes kept the pace high just from the start and dropped back after a fall of Lars Nelson only for a few minutes. Already before the first exchange Nelson was able to open a gap along with Finnish Sami Jauhojärvi (FIN). Sweden and Finland controlled the race from the lead also with their second skier Daniel Richardsson and Iivo Niskanen (FIN) who already met two days ago in fight for bronce medal. Not until the third leg the weakest Finn Lari Lehtonen (FIN) lost the contace to Johan Olsson who was now on his way to relay triumph. In team Russia especially Alexander Legkov showed a strong performance shortening the disadvantage against Sweden down to 14 second at the last exchange in second spot. But Maxim Vylegzhanin had to push his luck with attacking at the last uphill versus his strong opponent from France, Ivan Perillat Boiteux, but the Russian secured silver for the host country. Team Norway had to fight against waxing problems at least in the classical parts of the race, furthermore their third skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) collapsed when he tried to follow Legkov's speed. Thus Norway came in only fourth without a medal ahead of Italy and Finland.