Petter Northug crushes the start field and spurts to gold medal. UPDATED
Petter Northug grabbed the Gold Medal in 30 km Pursuit. In the thrillinr race and even more exciting spurt in the finish he beat Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilia Chernousov.
Petter Northug defended the title of the World Champion in 30 km Pursuit. Northug won in the time of 1:14:10.4 he crushed the field of starters and in the final spurt in the home stretch he beat Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia and his compatriot Ilia Chernousov.
As it was expected in the classical part the field remained compact. Daniel Rickardsoson was very active in the first 15km part and tried couple of times to break away. However, the field always caught him. Alexander Legkov and Dario Cologna as well as Jean Marc Gaillard or Martin Johnsrud Sundby were very active in the front and were setting the pace. Tobias Angerer for Germany showed teeth many times and controlled the race from front positions.
Right before the exchange Alexander Legkov had an accident, which caused him the position in the lead and came with a gap of 8 seconds in the pit area. Giorgio Di Centa and Roland Clara led the field in the first kilometers of the free technique part.
In the first kilometers of the free technique part Sjur Roethe of Norway took over command and was setting the pace. In the end of the first 3.75 km loop Alex Harvey of Canada launched an attack. He managed to open the gap to 8 seconds. Harvey kept the pace high. Vylegzhanin led the chasing group together with Cologna and Angerer. Harvey left for the last 3.75 loop still in the lead but Vylegzhanin and co were coming closer and eventually caught the U23 Pursuit Champion. In the second last uphill to Grattishaugen Petter Northug, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Marcus Hellner were fighting for best position. Alexander Legkov had bad luck today. After he fell before the ski exchange he broke the pole in the second last uphill.
Entering the stadium Northug created a small gap and in the last uphill behind the shooting range launched a serious attack. He came first to the home stretch followed by two Russians.
Petter Northug jr. NOR
There was an intense fight over medal positions at the front. I thought to myself this is probably the only possibility I will ever get to win a gold medal at my home track, and that thought gave me more motivation. This is the biggest thing you can experience. Now I'm in the same company with Oddvar Brå, having a gold medal from my home track. It was the fight between me and Marcus Hellner that most people came here to watch. It was fantastic to win. There is nothing better you could experience. This has been my biggest dream ever since I discovered there would be Nordic Ski World Championships in Oslo. It is fantastic to have such luck and stand here. The audience was fantastic.
Maxim Vylegzhanin RUS
I'm really happy for the silver medal. It was a very tough fight. We have a strong team in Oslo. Our tactics was to remain in contact with the leaders and do well in the classic part. When Alex Harvey flew away we controled the gap so that he did not breake away completely. I attacked in the secon last uphill before stadium but Petter was faster.
ilia Chernousov RUS
I must say that Alexander Legkov should have been here with us in the podium. He has had the best shape but had bad luck when he fell before the exchange and in the second last uphill before the stadium broke a pole. We will have a very strong team for the relay and I hope we will fight for medals. Of course Norway and Sweden will be strong. I'm excited to have won bronze medal.