Marit Bjoergen romped to victory on the home turf at Holmenkollen. UPDATED
Marit Bjoergen dominated the 30 km Mass Start Classic competition and secured the distance World Cup title. Marit Bjoergen from Norway claimed victory in the traditional 30 km Mass start race in Oslo in 1:26:09h. Bjoergen powered to win with a clear margin of 51,9 seconds ahead of Justyna Kowalczyk (POL). Third place took Therese Johaug from Norway, 53,3 second behind the winner.
Bjoergen, Johaug and Kowalczyk were leading the way right after the start. It was Marit Bjoergen who pulled away after the intermediate sprint at km 16,3 . Therese Johaug, who was one of the biggest favorites was struggling in early phase of the competition with material and couldn't follow Bjoergen and Kowalczyk.
Bjoergen was increasing the gap on Kowalczyk and came unchallenged in the stadium to secure her third victory at the famous Holmenkollen 30 km. Therese Johaug came strongly from behind and caught the defending World Cup winner from Poland. Johaug and Kowalczyk came together in the stadium and were fighting for the second place. Justyna Kowalczyk had more power in the last meters of the competition and took second place as Therese Johaug was edged out to third place.
Marit Bjoergen increased the gap in the overall standing to 138 ahead of the World Cup final where in total 350 points will be awarded. With her strong performance today, Marit Bjoergen secured the distance World Cup title already today. She is now 124 points ahead of Justyna Kowalczyk and in the final races only 100 points are still open to win (Prologue in Falun & Mass start race in Falun)
Marit Bjoergen NOR
Today was amazing. I had a good day. My body felt good, and I knew it from the beginning. I had really good skies. I’m thankful to my waxing team. I had three good pair of skies. I knew Justyna also wanted some bonus points. I tried to push. From Frognerseteren I took a gap from Justyna. Then 20 seconds and then 30 seconds. Then I knew it was my day. It was amazing to go the last lap around Frognerseteren. I was smiling and laughing.
I have to go very fast also in Falun. In Stockholm it’s important because you have bonus seconds before Falun. So I have to recover from this race, and hopefully do better than Kowalczyk in Stockholm. But I’m not sure, no.
Justyna Kowalczyk POL
Normally I’m stronger in the finish in the classic style. After such a hard race you never know what will happen. It’s very slow in the finish line. I was almost sure I would be number two.
Congratulations to the waxers of Marit. We were together in the uphill, but the downhill was really long. I was many seconds behind. When there was I gap, it was not so perfect, but I was beginning to think about being number two.
It’s not so nice when you don’t have good skis. Here in Holmenkollen its special snow. It’s normal that the waxers know more about the snow here. I think that I don’t have a big chance on the overall World Cup anymore. But still I think this is a good season for me. I wasn’t surprised that Therese came back. She is strong in the uphills. But I’m stronger in the finished. It was not a surprise, and not last time I think.
Therese Johaug NOR
It was a really tough race today. In the beginning I didn’t have good skies. I pushed in the uphill, and also downhill. When I changed the skies I felt it ran better. I heard that I was 25 seconds behind, but I also heard she was a little tired. I heard I took some seconds all over the track. I’m satisfied with the race today. Kowalczyk was stronger.
I think I took a step up this year in the sprints. I feel that I’m in the right way. The snow was really slow today. I was also tired in the end.
Marit was really strong today. She was much better than us. I think she had a good trip today in front of all the people at Frognerseteren. I think for Norwegian athletes it’s a big goal to take a step up to the podium.