(Ruka, Finland) - Sweden's Stina Nilsson and Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo have won the first FIS Cross-Country World Cup competition of the 2017-18 season. The 1.4 km classic sprint event kicked off day one of the 3-day mini tour in Ruka, Finland.
Nilsson recorded her first ever classic sprint victory here last season and was again the best today despite qualifying in 19th position. Following Nilsson on the podium were two first time sprint podium finishers. In second place was the USA's Sadie Bjornsen just 0.24 seconds behind Nilsson. Yulia Belorukova of Russia was third for her first World Cup podium ever. Bjornsen is the Tour leader heading into tomorrow's 10 km interval start classic.
Klaebo got his first World Cup podium here last season in third place and came back this season with a very dominant victory. It was clear early in the men's final that it was a one man race and Klaebo was able to cruise the final 100m into the finish for the win. Last year's winner Paal Golberg of Norway took second, followed by Sweden's Calle Halfvarsson in third. Klaebo will take a 6 second lead over Golberg into the 15 km interval start classic competition on day 2 of the tour.
Stina Nilsson (SWE)
I wanted to remain calm and focused. The plan was to save some energy for the final hill because it’s a really tough one. It has been a really good start to the new season. I hope I am able to keep on skiing fast.
Sadie Bjornsen (USA)
To be second today is something I definitely did not expect. I had fun skiing all the way from the quarterfinal to the final. It’s my favourite races when the snow starts falling and things get little bit hectic.
Yulia Belorukova (RUS)
It was an amazing day. I did not that good during the qualification but I had amazing skis. In the final I wanted to stay in the lead group. The final hill is really tough but I was able to hang in 3rd place. It’s a great success because I won my first podium.
Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR)
It was not my plan to ski away so early but before the final hill I was told I had a 5 m lead so I went for it all the way to the finish.
Pål Golberg (NOR)
My plan was to be with the leaders on the last hill and it seems it worked out quite OK. It was a good day for me.
Calle Halfvarsson (SWE)
I’m happy about the 3rd place. But I was quite behind Klaebo. I will try to catch up for the Games. He was impressive today.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - 1.4 km Sprint C
1. NILSSON Stina SWE 3:17.62
2. BJORNSEN Sadie USA +0.24
3. BELORUKOVA Yulia RUS +0.91
4. INGEMARSDOTTER Ida SWE +2.72
5. HARSEM Kathrine Rolsted NOR +3.54
6. PARMAKOSKI Krista FIN +18.62
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 2:48.19
2. GOLBERG Paal NOR +1.35
3. HALFVARSSON Calle SWE +4.03
4. HAKOLA Ristomatti FIN +5.65
5. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA +8.87
6. FOSSLI Sondre Turvoll NOR +17.31
MINI TOUR STANDINGS - After Day 1
1. BJORNSEN Sadie USA 2:46.6
2. INGEMARSDOTTER Ida SWE +2.0
3. NILSSON Stina SWE +3.2
4. PARMAKOSKI Krista FIN +7.7
5. BELORUKOVA Yulia RUS +7.9
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 2:49.5
2. GOLBERG Paal NOR +6.0
3. HAKOLA Ristomatti FIN +9.3
4. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA +10.6
5. HALFVARSSON Calle SWE +13.4