Norway Celebrates Double Victory in 4x10 km Relay. UPDATED
After double victory of Norwegian ladies in 4x5 km Relay the Norwegian men did the same and grabbed first two places on the podium in 4x10 km Relay.
Petter Northug jr. brought Norway I (Roenning, Krogh, Berger, Northug) to victory in Sunday’s 4x10 km Classic/Free relay in Sjusjoen. Exciting finish determined the podium. Norwegian successful day was underlined with the second place of Norway III (Dahl, Ansnes, Eilifsen, Roethe). Youngster Calle Halfvarsson brought team Sweden (Hellner, Rickardsson, Olsson, Halfvarsson) to third place.
The start field stayed together for the big part of the first 10 km leg. A strong leading group with 6 teams was formed. Marcus Hellner was active as well Russians Japarov and Belov. It was Eldar Roenning who brought the Norwegian team on the first place to the first exchange.
After the second exchange the leading group grew bigger to 10 teams. Maxim Vylegzhanin was strong in his leg and was setting the pace. Maurice Manificat of France was pushing hard together with the Russian. Daniel Rickardsson of Sweden did not stay behind and at the second exchange France was in the lead ahead of Finland, Norway I, Sweden and Italy. Dario Cologna had the fastest time in the second leg and reduced the gap on the leading group by 24 seconds to +22 sec.
Situation in the race remained quite similar during the third leg with six teams in the leading group. Norway I, Italy, France, Sweden, Finland and Russia I were within 5 seconds.
During the last leg the pace slowed down rapidly and we could see easy skiing that made possible that the leading increased up to 8 teams. In the last 2.5km lap the racing speed accelerated thanks to Sjur Roethe and Alexander Legkov. In the last uphill before the stadium Petter Northug moved up to first place ahead of Sjur Roethe, Alexander Legkov and Calle Halfvarsson. In the last turn before the finishing straight Northug defended the inner curve position and stormed to victory for Norway I. Strong finish from Roethe secured Norway III second place. Alexander Legkov lost balance in the last meters of tha race that probably cost him a podium spot, which went to Sweden thanks to Calle Halfvarsson.
Lars Berger (NOR)
"It was fun to race today. I push hard towards the end of my leg and the audience helped me to do that. It was great to compete in the relay."
Sjur Roethe (NOR)
I'm happy to be on the podium today. The last leg was a tactical one but at the end I pushed hard and could take the second spot for our team.
Calle Halfvarsson (SWE)
In the last uphill I was behind and lost a bit the connection. I had to pass all for the finish sprint and that was not so easy. But at the end we finished third. I am satisfied with my race but for sure I was a bit nervous before and during it. It is a great honor to race the last leg for Sweden.