(Drammen, Norway) Norway found itself on top of the podium again in Drammen as it has so many times before. For Maiken Caspersen Falla it was her 4th trip to the top step and gave her critical points in the overall sprint World Cup crystal globe chase. Falla now leads Sweden's Stina Nilsson by 48 points with just 50 points remaining this season. Nilsson needed to finish no worse that second place today with a Falla win. It worked out just that way. The USA's Jessica Diggins got her first classic sprint World Cup podium in third place.
On the men's side it was another great battle between Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo and Russia's Alexander Bolshunov. Klaebo emerged victorious and 3-time Drammen winner Eirik Brandsdal (NOR) snuck in for second place with Bolshunov taking third. The win gave Klaebo a 100 point cushion against his biggest competitors for the Overall World Cup crystal globe with Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Dario Cologna and Alex Harvey all sitting out today's competition. Bolshunov with his 60 points for 3rd place today has brought himself into range for 3 in the overall final standings.
Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR)
It was really important to me to get the 100 points today. I need as many points as I can get against the other guys for the (overall) crystal globe. I will race the Holmenkollen 50 km this weekend and I know it will be tough. Also it's great to win here in front of all the people. I was second here last season and I'm really happy to now have won Drammen.
Eirik Brandsdal (NOR)
I don't know what it is about this course but I always race well here. Would have been nice to get another win but I just didn't have enough at the end. I knew I had really good skis and I let the guys get away more than I wanted on the long downhill and had to work to get back to them. I'm always happy when it's time to race Drammen especially the way this season has gone.
Alexander Bolshunov (RUS)
I was fighting for the victory today so I am disappointed I could not win today. Klaebo was really strong on the last uphill. I gave it all but it was not enough. I am looking forward to the 50 km Holmenkollen. I will fight back.
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR)
It's my 4th win here and I am so happy with the way I am feeling. I think my battery is finally fully charged. I was a bit tired after the Olympics and I haven't trained very much. But I can feel that my body is back and it's great to get another win here and almost secure my third crystal globe.
Stina Nilsson (SWE)
Maiken was just too strong for me today but I am happy that I felt better and better as the rounds happened today. That is an encouraging feeling. I didn't qualify so well so I was a bit worried. about how today would go and in the end I can say that I am satisfied.
Jessie Diggins (USA)
I’m really happy I could finally make the podium in the classic sprint. Me and my coaches have been working a lot on my classic. But still I’m a bit surprised I got third today. I had again amazing skis, the technicians did again a great job.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - Sprint classic 1.2 km
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 3:10.18
2. NILSSON Stina SWE +1.39
3. DIGGINS Jessica USA +1.88
4. NEPRYAEVA Natalia RUS +2.32
5. PARMAKOSKI Krista FIN +8.85
6. VISNAR Katja SLO +20.70
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 2:44.69
2. BRANDSDAL Eirik NOR +1.04
3. BOLSHUNOV Alexander RUS +3.78
4. SKAR Sindre Bjoernestad NOR +6.55
5. STADAAS Kasper NOR +8.71
6. IVERSEN Emil NOR +11.45
OVERALL WORLD CUP SPRINT STANDINGS
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 543 pts
2. NILSSON Stina SWE 495
3. CALDWELL Sophie USA 362
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 690 pts
2. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA 451
3. IVERSEN Emil NOR 297