(Toblach, Italy) Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo has won his 7th FIS Cross-Country World Cup competition this season. The most ever won by a male skier before the new year in a single season. He was previous tied at 6 with Petter Northug Jr (2011/12) and Martin Johnsrud Sundby (2015/16). Yesterday's 10th place result was his only one this season that wasn't a win. He now leads the overall World Cup standings by an impressive 328 points heading into the Christmas break in the World Cup calendar.
In second place today was Russia's Sergey Ustiugov who made the big move on the third lap of the 5 km course to break up the big leading group of skiers. Only Klaebo was able to match it and then moved ahead himself for a clear victory. Ustiugov crossed the finish line for second place +1.9 behind Klaebo with Kazakhstan's Alexey Poltoranin in for third +4.5 seconds behind. It was Poltoranin's first podium since January 9, 2016 in Val di Fiemme during the Tour de Ski.
Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR)
I’m happy to back on the podium. My plan was to go out hard from the beginning to close the gap. It worked very well. When I was together with the group I was confident I could ski for a podium. I wanted to decide the race little bit before the stadium.
Sergey Ustiugov (RUS)
I felt good today. My plan was not to start too fast but to ski at a steady pace. I was waiting to see if I am able to close the gap on the leaders or if the group behind me catches me. My plan in anyway was to be in the front and fight for a good position in the last lap. Johannes seemed he is never tired. He played with us like with small kids. He was in impressive shape again.
Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ)
I’m so happy. It has been 2 years since I was on the podium last time. I was working hard with Dario (Cologna) and Alexander (Bessmertnykh). Dario did a great job in the first two laps. I was fast faster on the last two uphillls. I still have some work to do to be able to beat Sergey and Johannes, but I am getting there.
MEN - 15 km C Pursuit
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 1996 33:31.1
2. USTIUGOV Sergey RUS 1992 +1.9
3. POLTORANIN Alexey KAZ 1987 +4.5
4. BESSMERTNYKH Alexander RUS 1986 +9.7
5. HEIKKINEN Matti FIN 1983 +9.8
OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDINGS
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 752
2. MANIFICAT Maurice FRA 428
3. BOLSHUNOV Alexander RUS 402