Nordic

Start-finish victory for Therese Johaug in Nove Mesto

Therese Johaug (NOR, Fischer ***) celebrated a undefeated start-finish victory in the pursuit race over ten kilometers in classic style in Nove Mesto (CZE) ahead of Natalia Nepryaeva (RUS, Fischer ***) and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR, Fischer ***). Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR, Fischer ***) secured second place in men's final sprint.

Even though Therese Johaug had practiced understatement yesterday, it was clear to everyone beforehand that the winner was already certain before the start. As usual, the Norwegian didn't think much of the tactics, was racing at full speed and was able to double her starting lead to over a minute. But behind her it was very exciting: At first Heidi Weng (NOR, Fischer ***) joined Natalia Nepryaeva at the beginning of the second lap, who has so far not been entirely convincing in classic pursuits. In the chase group, however, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg was so fast that the others could no longer follow her and she had already reached the duo after five kilometers. There, too, she kept up the pace, but kept turning around and would have liked to give up the leadership work - but Weng and Nepryaeva wouldn't or couldn't. The Russian always seemed to have problems keeping up with Weng or later Østberg and Weng and only appeared fresher in the last lap. Nepryaeva attacked 500 meters before the finish out of the last downhill and opened a small gap on the last small climb outside the stadium, which the Norwegians could no longer close. Second place went to the Russian, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg narrowly outsprinted Heidi Weng after evaluating the photo finish and was at least rewarded with a podium for all her work. Ebba Andersson (SWE, Fischer ***), who initially had to make up 15 seconds against the group in front of her, took sixth place. Kerttu Niskanen (FIN, Fischer ***) was very good seventh ahead of the best Czech Katerina Razymova (CZE, Fischer ***). Ragnhild Haga (NOR, Fischer ***) could no longer follow her original group and fell behind to ninth place.

=> 10km C Pursuit Nove Mesto (CZE)

Today's men's pursuit was more like a mass start in the back field because the short lap length meant that the wave started from 2:40 minutes behind (35th place). In the front, Alexander Bolshunov (RUS) skied a surprisingly lonely race because the strong classic skier Iivo Niskanen (FIN, Fischer ***) had a very bad day or skis and after five kilometers he was even caught from skating specialist Sjur Røthe (NOR, started 16 seconds later). After ten kilometers, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Simen Hegstad Krüger (NOR) joined the duo with excellent material under the guidance of the sprint specialist. While Alexander Bolshunov cheered and celebrated his victory with a lead of more than 45 seconds, Klæbo and Krüger fought side by side for every meter and increased the pace in the last small climb. Sjur Røthe struggled to keep connection, which Iivo Niskanen had already lost. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won the sprint for second place just before Krüger, fourth went to Iivo Niskanen. In the overall World Cup, Klæbo cut his losses with 159 points behind Bolshunov in th overall World Cup, while the weekend for Holund (NOR, Fischer ***, got lost yesterday and abandoned) and Ustiugov (RUS, Fischer ***, sick and paternity) each with a pay freeze was significantly more lossy in the fight for the overall World Cup. Skating specialist Andrey Melnichenko (RUS, Fischer ***) reached the finish shortly before the next group, from which Perttu Hyvärinen (FIN, Fischer ****) secured seventh place ahead of Didrik Tønseth (NOR, Fischer ***) ,

=> 15km C Pursuit Nove Mesto (CZE)

* = Fischer skis

** = Fischer skis and bindings

*** = Fischer skis, bindings and boots

**** = Fischer skis, bindings, boots and poles