Therese Johaug storms to victory in 7.5 km C + 7.5 km F in Lahti. UDPATED
Lahti, 3 March 2012: Therese Johaug of Norway won clearly today's 7,5 km + 7,5 km skiathlon in a time of 36:52.6 min in Lahti, Finland. Johaug led the Norwegian squad as Marit Bjoergen finished second, 10.8 seconds behind. Heidi Weng scored personal best in third place with a margin of 11,9 seconds to Johaug.
Johaug defended her victory from last year's skiathlon in Lahti (2010 she finished 3rd). Marit Bjoergen (NOR) collected today 22 points at the intermediate sprints and with her second place she took totally 102 World Cup points which brings her back into the lead of the overall World Cup
Johaug broke away from the leading group in the second classic lap and nobody had a chance to catch the World Champion from Oslo. Justyna Kowalczyk was skiing in second place after the classical in spite of she went down in the famous sharp Lahti curve just before coming to the pits.
The Polish ace lost ground in the free technique part of the arce and came home 52 seconds behind the winner and claimed 8th place.
Marit Bjoergen, Heidi Weng and Kristin Stoermer Steira were skiing together in the free technique part and worked well together like a "norwegian train"
Heidi Weng took her first ever World Cup podium and Marit Bjoergen is leading the overall World Cup with 38 points margin ahead of Justyna Kowalcyzk
Therese Johaug (NOR)
Lahti is my place. I like the hilly tracks here and they suit me very well. I have been in good shape. We spent 10 days at Seiser Alm in italy. We were training, relaxing eating, sleeping and having fun. My body is now ready for the last three weeks of World Cups. Holmenkollen is my second goal of the season after Tour de Ski. I have good memories from last year. I hope to do a good race there. It is great there are other strong girls in the team. We push each other on training and that is the reason we are here today. I will do my best Marit wins the yellow bin in Falun. It is also great Heidi claimed her first podium today.
Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
The main goal was today to be back in yellow. I did not have a good feeling in classical part of the race. I tried to concentrate on myself. After exchange it was much better for me. I had a good feeling in skating. I am grateful I had a good team around me. Therese was pushing very hard in the classical part. I am happy to be second. It is important the young girls are coming. They are up pushing me on training. I do not want then to beat me. They give me extra motivation in training. It is a great to have such a strong team around me. Today it was my day. Next time something else can happen. Tomorrow is sprint and you never know what can happen.
Heidi Weng (NOR)
Today I was so good. I was very tired in the finish. I had excellent skis. I did not think I could be on the podium this season. There are so many good skiers in the field. I knew I could fight with Kristin.