Monday, March 27, 2023

Double Norwegian in Falun: Klæbo decided the World Championship

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Klæbo delivered as a big favorite and took the win in the final ahead of Erik Valnes. Trønder had the race under control.

He also secured the overall World Cup victory.

– It was a difficult sprint race, but I had good skis and it felt good. A little harder to crank today, but little by little it got better. When I first came down the last hill, it was all about accelerating to the finish line, Klæbo told Viaplay.

Once again, he performed best in the tactical game in a final field that consisted of runners from Norway (3), France (2) and Italy on Saturday. The latter took over the last place on the podium from Federico Pellegrino.

World Cup debutant Håkon Asdøl ran a great sprint and also secured a place in the final. The 25-year-old was number six there. From the semifinals he advanced on time after beating Edvin Anger of Sweden by a few thousandths.

Asdøl gets another chance in the World Cup in the skating sprint in Tallinn on Tuesday.

Golberg trouble

Even Northug, Harald Østberg Amundsen and Sindre Bjørnestad Skar all lost in the semifinals in Falun. Bjørnestad Skar looked strong but had an awkward encounter with the Swedish snow on the final descent at Lugnet ski stadium.

– There was a big hole in my ski. I just put the stick in the ski and hit the ground. I exhaled. It was pretty awkward, Skar told Viaplay.

Pål Golberg had to end the working day in the quarter-finals.

In the overall World Cup standings, Klæbo had 239 points on Golberg before Saturday’s race. With the victory, the gap increased significantly. As a result, Golberg, who was eliminated in the quarterfinals in Falun, can no longer catch Klæbo in the fight for the crystal globe.

Impressive statistics

Golberg will not travel to Tallinn on Tuesday either. That leaves him with just two individual World Cup races next weekend in Lahti.

Klæbo has won 17 of the 27 individual races in the World Cup this winter. Martin Johnsrud Sundby held the previous season record for men in 2015/16. Then he came out on top 14 times.

The gender-independent record is 20 triumphs by Therese Johaug in the 2019/20 season. It is not impossible for Klæbo to score points with two sprint races and a joint start of 20 kilometers.


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