Sundby captures 4th consecutive Tour victory - UPDATED
Martin Johnsrud Sundby has captured his 4th consecutive Tour victory. He became the first athlete to win all three Tours in one season last year, and continued that trend winning the early season mini-tour today in Lillehammer, Norway. Sundby began the day 20+ seconds back from his teammate Finn Haagen Krogh but closed the gap by the halfway point of the 15 km classic competition. On the "big" climb on the final lap Sundby passed Krogh and set a pace that Krogh was not able to handle and ultimately settled for second place +16.6 back.
Sjur Roethe (NOR), Paal Golberg (NOR) and Calle Halfvarsson (SWE) skied most of the 15 km together but split the final time up the "big" climb with Roethe out double polling Golberg for third +36.5 back from the lead. Norway's Didrik Toenseth started bib 21 and raced himself to 4th place overtaking Halfvarsson with less than a kilometer to the finish. Halfvarsson settled for 5th. The first non-Norwegian finisher.
Despite the dominance of the Norwegian team in both the ladies' and men's competitions both came down to exciting finishes between individual athletes in the final kilometers.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)
I skied as I planned today. Finn did a great job. He had a really good classic race. It took me more time to catch him as I had expected. He was skiing smart. My plan was to give everything on the last climb and not look back until I was on the top. I had great skis this weekend. I am happy for being on the podium with my friends.
Finn Hågen Krogh (NOR)
It was a heavy finish. I was struggling with grip and I had no chance to keep Martin’s tempo. I had hoped Martin would attack later. I was just too tired to follow him. Second place in the mini-tour is a big achievement. I am really happy about the whole weekend.
Sjur Røthe (NOR)
My plan was to stay behind Martin and Finn. It was a hard fight on the last uphill. I thought I had a little gap on Pål but he managed to catch me on the top. We were not far away from each other before the home stretch. I believed that if I gain a few meters before the finishing straight I can beat Pål.
MEN'S FINAL RESULTS - Stage 3
1. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR 39:48.2
2. KROGH Finn Haagen NOR +16.6
3. ROETHE Sjur NOR +36.5
4. GOLBERG Paal NOR +37.5
5. TOENSETH Didrik NOR +43.7
6. HALFVARSSON Calle SWE +48.5
Complete results from mini-tour available HERE.
FASTEST ON THE DAY - Top 5
1. TOENSETH Didrik NOR 39:20.9
2. POLTORANIN Alexey KAZ +1.4
3. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR +7.0
4. OESTENSEN Simen Haakon NOR +15.3
5. RICHARDSSON Daniel SWE +16.0
Top times on the day available HERE.
Overall World Cup Standing Men
1. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR 391
2. KROGH Finn HaagenNOR 309
3. GOLBERG Paal NOR 230
Distance World Cup Standing Men
1. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR 173
2. DYRHAUG Niklas NOR 103
3. NISKANEN Iivo FIN 100