(Falun, Sweden) The World Cup sprint season 2018 came to a close today in Falun, Sweden with victories for Sweden's Hanna Falk and Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo. For Falk it was her second win of the season and the 4th of her career. For Klaebo it was his 11th World Cup victory of the season and 7th in the sprints. With so many sprint wins Klaebo had already locked up his second consecutive sprint crystal globe after the Lahti sprint two weekends ago. On the ladies' side Maiken Caspersen Falla clinched her third consecutive sprint crystal globe despite finishing in 8th place today. Sweden's Stina Nilsson was the only one mathematically that could have taken the globe from Falla but with Nilsson sitting out the World Cup finals the globe was already Falla's before today's sprint began. Nilsson stayed in second in the overall standings with the USA's Sophie Caldwell in third. Caldwell is just the second US female (after Kikkan Randall) to place in the season overall sprint standings in the top 3.
Joining Falk on the podium today was her teammate Jonna Sundling recording her first ever World Cup podium in second place. In third was the ageless Marit Bjoergen with her first sprint podium of the season. With her win Falk leads the World Cup mini-tour by 6.8 seconds over Sundling and Bjoergen by 9.8 seconds.
On the men's side the today's sprint top 3 match the final top 3 standings in the sprint overall World Cup. In second place was Italy's Federico Pellegrino and in third place was Lucas Chanavat of France. Chanavat started the day in 4th place in the sprint standings behind Norway's Emil Iversen by 17 points but with his result he jumped ahead to take third place in the overall.
Klaebo now leads the mini tour by 4.7 seconds over Pellegrino and 9.1 seconds ahead of Chanavat heading into tomorrow's mass start 15 km classic competition. The ladies will compete over 10 km in classic technique.
Hanna Falk (SWE) - Sprint winner
This is just great to win here in Sweden. It's my second victory this season and I am so happy that my parents are here to see it. With Maiken not in the final I knew that the pace might not be so high so I went for it on the second climb to make sure I had a good gap on the long downhill and it worked. I want to say congrats to Maiken on winning the crystal globe. She really deserves it.
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) - Sprint crystal globe winner 2018
For sure I wanted to be able to fight for the podium today but I made a mistake in the semi final and I wasn't able to get back into position to advance. But I can't be too upset as I have won my third crystal globe and I am very proud of that.
Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) - Sprint winner and sprint crystal globe winner 2018
I learned after Lahti that I needed to be away from Pellegrino if there was a long downhill with a fast finish so I attacked on the the first climb today in the finals to make sure that I was far enough ahead before the finish. It's just been an incredible season with my second sprint globe and the Olympics. But I am focused on also taking home the overall crystal globe and will fight the next two days to make sure I get it.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - 1.4 km sprint
1. FALK Hanna SWE 3:08.25, 2. SUNDLING Jonna SWE +0.53, 3. BJOERGEN Marit NOR +1.40, 4. DYVIK Anna SWE +1.72, 5. SLIND Silje Oeyre NOR +4.30, 6. CALDWELL Sophie USA +6.99
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 2:37.03, 2. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA +0.39, 3. CHANAVAT Lucas FRA +1.76, 4. HAKOLA Ristomatti FIN +3.26, 5. SVENSSON Oskar SWE +3.88, 6. PETERSON Teodor SWE +6.17
FINAL OVERALL WORLD CUP SPRINT STANDINGS
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 573 pts, 2. NILSSON Stina SWE 495, 3. CALDWELL Sophie USA 396
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 740 pts, 2. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA 497, 3. CHANAVAT Lucas FRA 323
MINI TOUR STANDINGS - After stage one
1. FALK Hanna SWE 2:29.8, 2. SUNDLING Jonna SWE +6.8, 3. BJOERGEN Marit NOR +9.8
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 2:06.6, 2. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA +4.7, 3. CHANAVAT Lucas FRA +9.1