Nilsson and Golberg winners in Ruka season opener

26 November 2016 14:43
Stina Nilsson SWE wins in Ruka
Stina Nilsson SWE wins in Ruka -
NordicFocus

Stina Nilsson of Sweden and Paal Golberg of Norway have won the opening competitions of the Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country 2016-17 season in Ruka, Finland.  Snow fell throughout the competition creating challenging conditions for the athletes as they raced around the 1.4 km course.  As the heats progressed the final climb back to the stadium saw the competitors in the herringbone technique unable to stay in the tracks.  Both Nilsson and Golberg managed the climb each round and proved strongest on the final stretch to the finish.  

For Nilsson it was her first ever win in classic technique.  Just one year ago she took second place to Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla but got her revenge today with Falla taking second place.  In third was Heidi Weng of Norway.  

On the men's side Paal Golberg of Norway who learned just 3 days ago that he would be traveling to Ruka took the first win of the season.  Golberg who trains outside the National Team was brought to Ruka in replacement for Petter Northug Jr in the sprint and recorded his 4th World Cup victory.  In second place from Sweden was Calle Halfvarsson grabbing his first ever World Cup podium in a classic sprint.  In third place another Norwegian reserve made good on his opportunity to start in Ruka.  Johannes Klaebo the young rising star on the team was announced Tuesday as the replacement for an ill Eirik Brandsdal, and captured his first ever World Cup podium.  

Competition resumes tomorrow with 10/15 km interval start competitions. 

ATHLETE QUOTES

Stina Nilsson, SWE
It feels great to win the first race of the season, especially a classic sprint.

Maiken Caspersen Falla, NOR
I am very happy with 2nd place. It was a good start of the season. Stina was very good today. She had the best line on the final uphill and I had to fight for the second place.

Heidi Weng, NOR
I had a good here in Ruka. I have never had such a good start of the season here.

Paal Golberg, NOR
I did not feel so good in the quarterfinal so I had to change my tactics and the other heats were better. These were quite difficult conditions with the new snow but I had perfect skis. Most important today was to have a good kick on the uphill. It is great to start the season with the win.

Calle Halfvarsson, SWE
It is my first podium in classic sprint. I am very happy. Finish was really hard today. Paal was very strong there. The crowd was great.

Johannes Klaebo, NOR
It is amazing to be third. I came here as a substitute and it is little bit surprising to be on the podium. I have had a great start of the season. Let’s see if in Lillehammer I can maybe win.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS - Ruka, Finland  

LADIES - 1.4 km Sprint C 

1. NILSSON Stina SWE 3:21.61
2. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR +0.17
3. WENG Heidi NOR +0.69
4. MATVEEVA Natalia RUS +3.18
5. PARMAKOSKI Krista FIN +5.12
6. BELORUKOVA Yulia RUS +8.94

Complete results available HERE

Overall World Cup Ladies

1. NILSSON Stina, SWE 100 
2. FALLA Maiken Caspersen, NOR 80
3. WENG Heidi, NOR 60

Sprint World Cup Ladies

1. NILSSON Stina, SWE 100  
2. FALLA Maiken Caspersen, NOR 80
3. WENG Heidi, NOR 60

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MEN - 1.4 km Sprint C

1. GOLBERG Paal NOR 2:54.12
2. HALFVARSSON Calle SWE +0.75
3. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR +0.87
4. PETERSON Teodor SWE +1.06
5. PANZHINSKIY Alexander RUS +8.22
6. KROGH Finn Haagen NOR +1:12.58

Complete results available HERE

Overall World Cup Men

1. GOLBERG Paal, NOR 100
2. HALFVARSSON Calle, SWE 80
3. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot, NOR 60

Sprint World Cup Men

1. GOLBERG Paal, NOR 100  
2. HALFVARSSON Calle, SWE 80  
3. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot, NOR 60