07/03/2018

Norwegian sprint victories in Drammen for Falla and Klæbo

At the classic sprint in Drammen (NOR) at the penultimate sprint in this year's cross-country World Cup the victories went to the Norwegian local heroes Maiken Caspersen Falla and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (both NOR, Fischer skis and boots). Stina Nilsson (SWE, Fischer) and Eirik Brandsdal (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) came in second.

Uncommon conditions prevailed at the World Cup in Drammen: No sunshine at spring-like temperatures like in recent years, but more than ten centimeters of fresh snow in recent days. During the competition the sky became more and more overcast and the clouds hung low over the rooftops, but the snowfall waited until the end of the race. Thus, for all heats, there were consistent, but very soft, conditions. Maiken Caspersen Falla did not mind that. Like all Norwegians, she had excellent skis and dominated the competition. Already next to the church she tore a small gap in the final, which Natalia Nepryaeva (RUS, Fischer skis and boots) was able to close with equally good material in the downhill. When placing in the tracks for the final uphill, the Russian skied on ends of the skis of the Norwegian and thus completely lost the pace, so that Falla stormed alone to her fourth victory in Drammen. "I really want to win the sprint globe because everyone talks about it," she said. "I have not trained much since the Olympics, so the batteries for Drammen and Lahti were full. It was fun to race here and now I enjoy the rest of the season." Last year's winner Stina Nilsson finished second. Thus, Maiken Caspersen Falla in Falun only needs two points in the sprint to win the small crystal globe. Natalia Nepryaeva missed the podium in fourth. For the Russian a big disappointment after a very strong performance throughout the whole competition day. Katja Visnar (SLO, Fischer skis and boots) did not have enough energy to keep up with the best in the final and finished sixth.

=> Sprint Women Drammen (NOR)


The final of the men was initially as the heats before: Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and especially Alexander Bolshunov (RUS) raced a fast pace, so they opened already a small gap at church level to Eirik Brandsdal under the leadership of the Russian. The Norwegian was able to close the gap but as in the quarter and semi-final in the downhill again. This time Johannes Høsflot Klæbo attacked at the beginning of the climb, so that Brandsdal did not lead until shortly before the finish as before. With a few meters lead Klæbo went to the last very steep meters on the stairs of the cathedral and cheered even before crossing the line. Eirik Brandsal initially seemed disappointed that he had missed his fourth Drammen victory, having said after the prologue: "Drammen is definitely my favorite World Cup!" - but later he smiled all over his face like his compatriot. Sindre Bjørnestad Skar, Kaspar Stadås and Emil Iversen (all NOR, Fischer skis and boots) took fourth to sixth place by a considerable margin. "These were very important points for the overall World Cup, it is the plan that I want to race the 50 kilometers, but I have to recover a bit until then", said the happy winner and overall World Cup leader, but after the finish he had squandered many energies. Unlike the ladies, who were immediately called to the winner photo shooting, the men went on a long lap of honor on which they took a lot of time. Klæbo was celebrated by his fans, Brandsdal welcomed his family and Klæbo and Bolshunov sprinted once again a part of the final uphill - again the Norwegian was just ahead.

=> Sprint Men Drammen (NOR)


Athletes in This Article

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