Denis Spitsov

Russia

  • 16.08.1996
  • Russia
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn
Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn

Nordic

Norway and Russia win cross-country relays in Ulricehamn

At the World Cup of cross-country skiers in Ulricehamn in western Sweden, winter had come overnight. However, that did not change the expected result: Norway's Heidi Weng (NOR), Therese Johaug (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots), Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (NOR) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) finally won sovereign ahead of Sweden and Finland. In the men's race, Russia II represented by Evgeniv Belov, Alexander Bessmerthmykh (both RUS), Denis Spitsov (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and Artem Maltsev (RUS, Fischer skis and bindings) surprisingly beat Russia I and Norway.

After an initial pace, with nine out of eleven teams remaining together in the first few kilometers in snowfall and strong winds, Yulia Belorukova (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) accelerated the pace at 3.75 kilometers just before the end of the stadium passage. A little later, she was able to open a small gap with Heidi Weng and they came five seconds ahead to the first exchange. Sweden and the US tried to close the gap with Evelina Settlin (SWE, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and Sadie Bjornsen (USA, Fischer skis, bindings and boots). In front, Therese Johaug set a very high pace and was able to increase the lead to third place. With some problems, Natalia Nepryaeva (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) followed her first, but then dropped back. Behind them was formed with Sweden and Finland a chasing duo followed by the second group. Nepryaeva came closer to Johaug in the meantime, until the Norwegian stormed away again. When changing a second time the gap was only nine seconds, so that the race was still very open. Sweden and Finland were only slightly behind Russia, 30 seconds later followed a trio consisting of USA, Norway II and Russia II.

Charlotte Kalla (SWE, Fischer skis and bindings), who apparently felt better again today than yesterday, quickly followed Anna Nechaevskaya (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) with Roponen (FIN, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and tried to break away and shorten the gap to Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen. With the Norwegian always in sight, Kalla came a little closer, but had to pay tribute to her own pace. She lost again a few seconds as well as Russia and Finland in the second part of the lap, so that Kalla came just before the duo to the last change - 21 seconds behind Norway. With a quick start, Russia's Elena Soboleva (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) took a few meters between herself and newly-crowned U23 Vice World Champion Eveliina Piippo (FIN) and almost made it to sprinter Jonna Sundling (SWE, Fischer skis and bindings). But the Russian had overestimated herself and her abilities and quickly fell behind the Finn, who tried to make up with Sweden in fight for second place, while Ingvild Flugstad Østberg had to manage the lead for Norway and even further expanded. In the last few kilometers, an exciting duel developed: Which of the young athletes would be the better? After the last passage through the stadium just over a kilometer from the finish, the Finn took the lead, but when it got serious on reaching the stadium, Jonna Sundling sprinted past her and was no longer catchable on the home straight. The Norwegian quartet had crossed the finish line 37 seconds earlier. Russia I took fourth place ahead of Norway II.

=> Relay Ulricehamn (SWE)

Under pace work by Calle Halfvarsson (SWE) and both Russians, the field dragged on the first few kilometers more and more. After the first of two laps of the starting skiers, Norway was passed to number ten with Hans Christer Holund (NOR) and small gaps were opened in the field. The reason for this was the information of the caregiver at Calle Halfvarsson about Holunds backlog: The Swede turned around in surprise and accelerated with the Russians the already high speed. Now there were big gaps in the field and Halfvarsson escaped together with Andrey Larkov (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) and Evgeniy Belov (RUS). At the first exchange the distance of the top trio to the first pursuers (Kazakhstan and Finland) was twelve seconds.

Iivo Niskanen (FIN), the second Finnish skier, quickly closed the gap so that four teams led the race for a short time until Sweden's Daniel Rickardsson (SWE, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) dropped back. A few meters further back, Didrik Tønseth (NOR, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) started the catch-up for Norway. He had to make up time on his own and fight against the wind, which repeatedly drove snow over the track in gusts. Until the second exchange, he had made the connection to France and Sweden in fourth place, but didn't regain time. There Alexander Bessmerthnykh opened a gap for Russia II against Alexander Bolshunov and Iivo Niskanen, but the lead of Russia II was quickly over again after the exchange with incipient snowfall and Denis Spitsov (I) and Andrey Melnichenko (II, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) worked together for winning the race after Lari Lehtonen (FIN, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) dropped behind. In the fresh snow, the athletes visibly had to invest more energies than before - such as Sjur Røthe (NOR), who was alone on his catch-up behind the Russians, or in the lead, where usually Melnichenko did the work. When exchanging there were still 30 seconds between the Russians and Norway. Sergey Ustiugov (RUS, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) did the most work on the first lap of the final skiers because Artem Maltsev did not want to lead. In the stadium he had to take over the lead after a nod from the colleague and then escaped shortly after because Ustiugov lost a lot of energies and was completely exhausted. Russia II with Evgeniv Belov, Alexander Bessmerthmykh, Denis Spitsov and Artem Maltsev took the win ahead of their Russian team-mates from team I. Norway's Simen Hegstad Krüger (NOR) finished third, 35 seconds behind. Matti Heikkinen (FIN, Fischer skis, bindings and boots) saved Finland's fourth place ahead of Sweden and France.

=> Relay Ulricehamn (SWE)