Nordic

Johaug dominated skiathlon over 15 kilometers, Holund was beaten shortly

Therese Johaug (NOR, Fischer ***) could not be beaten in the skiathlon race over 7.5 + 7.5 kilometers at the cross-country World Cup in Lillehammer. Heidi Weng (NOR, Fischer ***) finished third. In the men's race, Hans Christer Holund (NOR, Fischer ***) was edged out after 15 kilometers in the final sprint by Alexander Bolshunov (RUS). Emil Iversen (NOR, Fischer ***) finished third.

Therese Johaug kept up the pace as usual right after the start and the other athletes like Heidi Weng and the US-Americans tried to follow first. But after four minutes, then gaps in the field increased and Johaug went alone on the way to the next victory. At kilometer four, Jessie Diggins (USA) set the pace in the chase group and tried to pull away, but failed. Johaug and the group split more than 30 seconds on the change of ski after half of the distance and, like Johaug, Heidi Weng and Jessie Diggins also accelarated their pace out of the stadium so they could break away from the rest of the group. Jessica Diggins attacked 1.5 kilometers from the finish and the American was able to escape from Heidi Weng and soonafter secured second place at the finish - 1:08 minutes behind Johaug, who celebrated her 50th World Cup victory and the 100th podium: " I did not know that", wondered Johaug in the winner's interview. "It's great to hear that and to win in the hometown. It was a good day, the skis were perfect and I enjoyed the race without wasting too much energy." Heidi Weng finished third and confirmed her good form of Ruka. Charlotte Kalla (SWE, Fischer **) finished sixth ahead of a strong Teresa Stadlober (AUT, Fischer ***), who was out of action for a long time with a metatarsal injury in the summer. Kerttu Niskanen (FIN, Fischer ***) became tenth.

=> Skiathlon 7,5+7,5km Lillehammer (NOR)

Unusually early for a men's race in the mass start, the pace was dramatically increased in the second 3.75 kilometer lap. Over long stretches of the classic section, Iivo Niskanen (FIN, Fischer ***) set the pace and was responsible for the fact that eight athletes already escaped after 7.5 kilometers. Behind them Denis Spitsov (RUS, Fischer ***) single-handedly needed six kilometers to join the group. At the ski change, the nine athletes were 20 seconds ahead of Sjur Røthe (NOR) and Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR, Fischer ***), who complained about motivation problems during the summer and did not manage the usual training levels. While in the front after the change to skating skis the pace was accelarated again and Hans Christer Holund was able to escape with Emil Iversen and Alexander Bolshunov, also succeeded Sjur Røthe within a very short time to approach along with Sundby to the chasing group. In the front, the pace was never slower on the following kilometers: Almost always Holund kept up the pace, only in the bonus sprints Iversen took the big points in the fight against Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR, Fischer ***). The two times Overall World Cup winner mostly hided himself in the group and had to fight partly for connection, but was always there when there were bonus points to win: In the classic section he always collected 15 points, in the freestyle he always crossed the line in fourth place.

Everything looked like nobody could beat the outstandingly skiing Hans Christer Holund today: The Norwegian single-handedly increased his lead over the second group to about a minute and then attacked into the final climb, where Alexander Bolshunov had to go wide in the corner. But the Russian was not beaten, overtook him and was also on the straights in the stadium uncatchable. Hans Christer Holund finished second ahead of Emil Iversen, who could not keep up with them in the final sprint. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo finished fourth in the final sprint ahead of Martin Johnsrud Sundby. Denis Spitsov finished eighth ahead of Iivo Niskanen. Sergey Ustiugov (RUS, Fischer ***) had not enough energies for the final fight, he finished tenth.

=> Skiathlon 15+15km Lillehammer (NOR)

* = Fischer skis

** = Fischer skis and bindings

*** = Fischer skis, bindings and boots