Olympic sprint champions back on top in Drammen
Olympic sprint champion Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) showed she can win in either technique as she skied down Marit Bjoergen (NOR) on the homestretch to win the classic sprint in Drammen. Ola Vigen Hattestad, also the Olympic sprint champion was back on top of the podium after a fall in Lahti last weekend. With his victory Hattestad now leads the sprint overall standings by 41 points ahead of Eirik Brandsdal heading into the final sprint of the season.
In the ladies' competition Falla won over Bjoergen at the finish line with Sweden's Stina Nilsson in third for her first ever individual World Cup podium. Overall sprint leader Kikkan Randall of the USA clinched her third consecutive sprint crystal globe with her 7th place finish today. She now leads Germany's Denise Herrmann by 54 points with only 50 points available for the sprint win in Falun. The sprint in Falun is part of the World Cup final mini tour and as a result is half the usual World Cup points. Randall becomes only the third woman to win the sprint globe three consecutive years. Bjoergen won it 4 consecutive times between 2003-2006, and Bente Skari (NOR) won it 5 consecutive times from 1998-2002. Slovenia's Petra Majdic won it three times but not consecutively.
On the men's side behind Hattestad and Golberg was Italy's Maicol Rastelli who not only recorded his first ever World Cup podium with his third place but it was the first time he had ever qualified in the top 30.
Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)
After the gold medal at the Olympics my focus switched to trying to win the sprint overall title. I am happy now to have the red bib for the final sprint of the year. My shape is really good right now so I am looking forward to defending the lead in Falun. It will be nice to see the new sprint course that we will race next year at the World Championships.
Pål Golberg (NOR)
I didn't compete like I had hoped at the Olympics so it is nice to have strong results now. I am looking forward to the rest of the season. I will race Holmenkollen on Saturday. The 50 km is an event I am looking towards for the future.
Maicol Rastelli (ITA)
I qualified for the first time ever and I landed on the podium for the first time. Today has been just beautiful. I have been in a good shape and my skis were perfect.
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR)
I am really with my shape. It is nice to win a classical technique sprint. I fell last week so I was motivated to ski well. It feels nice to be back on the podium again. Marit and I train a lot together and Marit usually wins when we train the finish. It is nice to beat her.
Marit Bjørgen (NOR)
I always ski well here in Drammen. In general I feel I am stronger in classic technique and this course with an uphill at the start and finish favours my strengths. It is such a great atmosphere for competing. I always look forward to the World Cup when it is here in Drammen.
Stina Nilsson (SWE)
I was in a very good in Sochi and I really wanted to ski in Lahti. Unfortunately I became sick and I and to stay at home. I was not sure if I kept the shape. I am surprised to be on the podium. I think the final was little bit slower than the previous heats. I had a very good finish, which brought me to the podium.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - Drammen sprints
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 3:06.82
2. BJOERGEN Marit NOR +0.28
3. NILSSON Stina SWE +1.50
4. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR +2.19
5. LAHTEENMAKI Krista FIN +3.06
6. VISNAR Katja SLO +15.79
1. HATTESTAD Ola Vigen NOR 2:47.08
2. GOLBERG Paal NOR +0.07
3. RASTELLI Maicol ITA +1.99
4. GAFAROV Anton RUS +7.97
5. JOENSSON Emil SWE +15.68
6. STRANDVALL Matias FIN +1:01.38
Complete results are available HERE.
Sprint World Cup standing ladies
1. Kikkan Randall (USA) 518 pts
2. Denise Herrmann (GER) 464 pts
3. Marit Bjørgen (NOR) 383 pts
Overall World Cup standing ladies
1. Therese Johaug (NOR) 1153 pts
2. Marit Bjørgen (NOR) 1082 pts
3. Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (NOR) 965 pts
Sprint World Cup standing men
1. Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) 362 pts
2. Eirik Brandsdal (NOR) 321 pts
3. Josef Wenzl (GER) 306 pts
Overall World Cup standing men
1. Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) 1127 pts
2. Chris Andre Jespersen (NOR) 739 pts
3. Alexander Legkov (RUS) 686 pts