(Ruka, Finland) Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway proved today that he is a man for all occasions winning the Ruka Triple 2017. Starting the day 38 seconds ahead of the field he was caught before the 10 km mark of the men's 15 km free technique pursuit. Soon after a leading group of 12 athletes all came together and the games began to see who would take the lead. Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway lifted the pace on the final lap and a group of 4 broke away including Klaebo, Sundby, Russia's Alexander Bolshunov and Canada's Alex Harvey. Harvey tried to get away up the final climb into the stadium but the other's proved too strong and it was Klaebo who found his sprint legs to take the triple just 0.4 seconds ahead of Sundby. Bolshunov got his first World Cup podium in third place +1.0 behind.
France's Maurice Manificat was the fastest of the day in a time of 34:50.9. That was 5.4 seconds faster than Matti Heikkinen of Finland and Norway's Hans Christer Holund +7.5 seconds back.
The FIS Cross-Country World Cup now moves to Lillehammer, Norway for two competition days 2-3 December, and will feature classic Sprints and 10/15 km Skiathlon.
Johannes Hoeslfot Klaebo (NOR)
I like the courses in Ruka. There are a lot of climbs and downhills and possibilities to recover. It was really a tough competition today. Bolshunov and Martin were pushing hard. Towards the end I was tired but I am very happy I could finish 1st.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)
I felt better today. The beginning of the season has been little bit up and down for me. I am not as stable as I used to be in the past but my training has been different than in the previous years. It’s good to be on the podium. The sprint on Friday was one of the best classical sprints I have ever done. Saturday’s race is just a competition to forget but it was better today. To be 2nd is better than I expected before the start of today’s race.
Alexander Bolshunov (RUS)
My plan was not to be too fast in the first laps. I wanted to keep my own speed to have a chance for a good result in the finish. I am very satisfied with the weekend in Ruka. I know now, that I can compete with the best skiers in the World. I also know what I have improve to get even better.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - 15 km Pursuit free technique
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot 1996 NOR 36:23.2
2. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud 1984 NOR +0.4
3. BOLSHUNOV Alexander 1996 RUS +1.0
4. HARVEY Alex 1988 CAN +1.6
5. CHERVOTKIN Alexey 1995 RUS +6.2
FASTEST OF THE DAY
1. MANIFICAT Maurice 1986 FRA 34:50.9
2. HEIKKINEN Matti 1983 FIN +5.4
3. HOLUND Hans Christer 1989 NOR + 7.5
4. COLOGNA Dario 1986 SUI +8.7
5. HARVEY Alex 1988 CAN +11.1