(Otepää, Estonia) Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway was in top form in today's 15 km classic interval start competition in Otepää, Estonia. Sundby bested second place finisher Iivo Niskanen of Finland by 37.1 seconds. Norway's Hans Christer Holund took third place +49.1 seconds back. It was just his third career individual World Cup podium.
Finland place two skiers in the top 5 (Heikkinen 5th +58.1) as the World Cup now turns it's attention to the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland. Competitions begin Thursday 23 February with free technique sprints.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)
Last month has been really good for me training. It was a difficult race. I had amazing skis. I had to look for high speed on the snow and constantly change positions. I was mentally prepared for a 18 km race.
Iivo Niskanen (FIN)
It was a very nice atmosphere. There was a lot of cheering on the course. I had good skis. I still need to improve my level to be ready for the World Championships. Three first km were OK, then it was skiing like on a glue. It was a very tough 15 km
Hans Christer Holund (NOR)
The third place means a lot for me. I had a difficult last year with the injury. In the finish I could not believe I was 3rd. It was probably the hardest 15 km I have ever skied. The course was hard and snow conditions made it even harder.
MEN - 15 km classic
1. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud 1984 NOR 40:38.2
2. NISKANEN Iivo 1992 FIN +37.1
3. HOLUND Hans Christer 1989 NOR +49.1
4. DYRHAUG Niklas 1987 NOR +55.3
5. HEIKKINEN Matti 1983 FIN +58.1