(Toblach, Italy) Norway's Simen Hegstad Krueger won his first ever career individual World Cup in the men's 15 km interval start competition in free technique. It was also just his second individual World Cup podium. He was previously third here in Toblach during last season's Tour de Ski in the 10 km free. In second place was France's Maurice Manificat the current red bib overall World Cup distance leader. With his win today Krueger now sits second in the distance standings 53 points behind Manificat. In third place was Britain's Andrew Musgrave. In his words it was his "first proper World Cup podium". He has two previous World Cup podiums that all came during pursuit events where the best times of the day are awarded podium results. One of those podiums also occurred here in Toblach in the 25 km pursuit during the 2015 Tour de Ski.
Five different nations made up the top 5 today with Canada's Alex Harvey in 4th just ahead of Russia's Sergey Ustiugov. In total 9 different nations were represented in the top 15. Other notable results were Overall World Cup leader Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway was 10th +35.2 seconds behind Krueger and his teammate Martin Johnsrud Sundby was 20th after being penalized 15 seconds for an early start.
Competition continues tomorrow on the same course with the 15 km pursuit in classic technique.
Simen Hegstad Krusger (NOR)
It’s great to finally win a World Cup race. I have been twice 4th this season. I thought my shape was good and I was hoping for a good performance and hopefully a podium. But to be 1st today, it’s abslutely amazing.
Maurice Manificat (FRA)
I congratulate Simen on the win, it was just great what he delivered today. I am very happy with the second place. It is a confirmation of my good shape, which I have had since the beginning of the season.
Andrew Musgrave (GBR)
This is my first proper World Cup podium. All the previous ones were for the fastest times in pursuit competitions. One of them was also in Toblach so I knew I could ski here fast. Today, everything fell in the right place. I am in a good shape and I was skiing well. My classic has not been great this year but I am in a good position, I hope for another good result.
MEN 15 km F interval start
1. KRUEGER Simen Hegstad 1993 NOR 29:58.8
2. MANIFICAT Maurice 1986 FRA +10.6
3. MUSGRAVE Andrew 1990 GBR +11.5
4. HARVEY Alex 1988 CAN +14.0
5. USTIUGOV Sergey 1992 RUS +18.9
OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDINGS
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 652 pts
2. BOLSHUNOV Alexander RUS 402
3. MANIFICAT Maurice FRA 388