Official Event Press Release:
Ulrichen, 3rd February 2018
The Nordic Junior and U23 Cross Country World Championships in Goms ended with the relay competitions. The German women's junior women's team, including Alexandra Danner, Celine Mayer, Lisa Lohmann and Anna-Maria Dietze, made a big surprise over 4 x 3.3 km.
The Germans surprised the clear favorites from Russia with the already two-time medalist Polina Nekrasova as the starting runner to second place. The bronze medal secured the Swedes.
At the beginning of the race no one had expected the German women. Not even the coaches, let alone the athletes themselves. On the classic track, Alexandra Danner and Celine Mayer ran out of third place. Lisa Lohmann improved to second place. Final runner Anna-Maria Dietze secured gold for the Germans with a brilliant final round. With the Russians, Polina Nekrasova quickly made it to the top and handed over more than 40 seconds to Hristina Matsokina. Nina Dubotolinka made the first skating round with a long catch-up and handed first to Maya Yakunina. In the finish it was enough for the favorites from Russia but only for the silver medal. Sweden's women's team was able to keep up with 6.6 km thanks to Frida Karlsson.
The relay race of the juniors over 4 x 5 km was exciting to the last kilometer. When switching from classical to free technology, all ambitious teams were still together. On the first skating lap, Frenchman Tom Mancini and Russian Rybochkin and Norwegian Haavard Moseby set the pace. For the last 2.5 km the enthusiastic spectators waited in vain for a long time for an attack by Lippert. The Frenchman Pierre Tichit, who ran his first race at the World Cup, challenged Lippet again and again until the last climb. With an incredible start up to the culmination point Lippert but then made the decision. Amazingly, Gus Schumacher was able to intercept the Russian Alexander Terentev still on the home straight and thus secured the US boys silver, while the Russians only the bronze medal remained.
The award ceremony of the relay race and the closing ceremony mark the end of an exciting and high-profile World Cup. OC President André Vogt thanked all those who contributed to this successful World Cup and expressed the hope that they would meet again in 2026 in this arena.