Alexander Bolshunov finally gets his first World Cup victory
(Falun, Sweden) Russia's Alexander Bolshunov has been close all season and finally he has his first World Cup win. It came at the expense of the home crowd favourite Calle Halfvarsson who looked set to take his first win of the season but Bolshunov would not be denied and overtook Halfvarsson with 70 meters to go. Off the final curve into the finish it was visible that the effort put forward by Halfvarsson to break away from the leading group has cost him a lot of energy and he was unable to match the speed of Bolshunov as he came up beside him into the finish. In third place was Italy's Francesco De Fabiani +3.1 seconds behind. It was his second podium of the season after a 3rd place finish during the Tour de Ski in the 15 km F Mst in Oberstdorf, Germany.
With 250 points still remaining in the battle for the overall World Cup crystal globe Dario Cologna trails Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo by 249 points. Mathematically there is still a chance for Cologna but he will start 18 seconds behind Klaebo who will go out in second place tomorrow. Bolshunov will go off first with Klaebo chasing 36 seconds later.
With today's result Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) in 8th is now 251 points behind Klaebo in the overall standings so the globe chance is gone but he is still in the chase for the distance globe. He trails Cologna by 34 points with 50 still possible tomorrow for the fastest time of the day.
The FIS World Cup season 2018 will conclude tomorrow with 10 and 15 km pursuit start competitions in free technique.
Alexander Bolshunov (RUS)
I have had many second and third place finishes this season so I am very happy to finally have a win. This feels good. I will do what I can tomorrow for another good result but for now I will enjoy this win.
Calle Halfvarsson (SWE)
I tried today to get a win but it was too much. Off the final corner I was really tired. I am still happy with second place. I have been on a podium a few times this season and always third. So at least second place is an improvement even if I didn't manage the win.
Francesco De Fabiani (ITA)
I like to compe in Falun. There’s always a good crowd here. I finished here second two years ago. I was able to keep a high speed during the race and in the end I could get myself a good position before the home stretch and I got some meters on Poltoranin. It is great to be third.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - MEN'S 15 km C Mst
1. BOLSHUNOV Alexander 1996 RUS 36:59.8
2. HALFVARSSON Calle 1989 SWE +1.3
3. DE FABIANI Francesco 1993 ITA +3.1
4. POLTORANIN Alexey 1987 KAZ +3.7
5. CHERVOTKIN Alexey 1995 RUS +5.2
OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDINGS
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 1397 pts
2. COLOGNA Dario SUI 1148
3. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR 1146
WORLD CUP DISTANCE STANDINGS
1. COLOGNA Dario SUI 676 pts
2. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR 642
3. MANIFICAT Maurice FRA 579
WORLD CUP FINALS TOUR STANDINGS - After stage two
1. BOLSHUNOV Alexander RUS 38:37.0
2. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR +38.0
3. HALFVARSSON Calle SWE +39.7