CROSS COUNTRY: Klaebo and Nilsson star as Oestberg takes women’s overall World Cup title

Norway's World Cup champ Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (Photo: Cephas via Wikimedia Commons)

The FIS Cross Country World Cup Final in Quebec City was a victory lap for Norway, as Johannes Thingnes Boe defended his World Cup title and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg won her first women’s title.

Klaebo, 22, was masterful in winning his second straight World Cup overall title, winning the Sprint and Mass Start races and then holding on in the Pursuit. That was enough to outlast a dogged Alexander Bolshunov (RUS), who finished just 100 points behind Klaebo on the season, 1,717-1,617, finishing fourth in the Sprint and third in the pursuit.

For the season, Klaebo won 11 times in 29 races and showed his versatility at every distance.

American Simi Hamilton had the third-fastest time in the Pursuit and won his fifth career World Cup medal, and his first in two years.

In the women’s racing, Oestberg stayed consistent – as she has all season – with a third and fifth in the distance races, and piled up 1,654 points to win her first seasonal title. But the star of the weekend was Sweden’s Stina Nilsson.

Olympic Sprint champ in 2018, Nilsson won the Sprint on Friday, but then also took the Mass Start race on Saturday and like Klaebo, crossed the line first in the Pursuit (with a handicap) on Sunday. That included turning back the nearly-unbeatable Therese Johaug (NOR) in the Mass Start race by just 0.2, Johaug’s first World Cup loss of the season in 10 distance races. Johaug came back to post the fastest time in Sunday’s Pursuit.

For the season, Oestberg finished with 1,654 points, trailed by new star Natalia Nepryaeva (RUS: 1,431) and Johaug (1,322). Jessica Diggins was the top American in the standings, finishing sixth (1,005). Summaries:

FIS Cross Country World Cup
Quebec City (CAN) ~ 22-24 March 2019
(Full results here)

Men

1.6 km Sprint Freestyle: 1. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR), 3:22.14; 2. Federico Pellegrino (ITA), +1:10; 3. Sindre Skar (NOR), +1.55; 4. Alexander Bolshunov (RUS), +1.57; 5. Johan Haeggstroem (SWE), +15.06.

15 km Mass Start Classical: 1. Klaebo (NOR), 36:10.9; 2. Alex Harvey (CAN), 36:11.7; 3. Dikrik Toenseth (NOR), 36:12.2; 4. Francesco Di Fabiani (ITA), 36:12.5; 5. Sjur Roethe (NOR), 36:13.4. Also in the top 25: 18. Erik Bjornsen (USA), 37:15.2

15 km Pursuit Freestyle: 1. Harvey (CAN), 28:15.4; 3. Bolshunov (RUS), 28:16.3; 3. Simi Hamilton (USA), 28:48.9; 4. Andrew Young (GBR), 28:49.0; 5. Simen Hegstad Krueger (NOR), 28:52.5.

Final World Cup Standings: 1. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR), 1,717; 2. Alexander Bolshunov (RUS), 1,617; 3. Sjur Roethe (NOR), 974; 4. Simen Hegstad Krueger (NOR), 907; 5. Didrik Toenseth (NOR), 865.

Women

1.6 km Sprint Freestyle: 1. Stina Nilsson (SWE), 3:44.80; 2. Maja Dahlqvist (SWE), +0.01; 3. Jonna Sundling (SWE), +1.28; 4. Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR), +10.01; 5. Frida Karlsson (SWE), +10.59. Also: 6. Sadie Bjornsen (USA), +14.43.

10 km Mass Start Classical: 1. Nilsson (SWE), 25:51.6; 2. Therese Johaug (NOR), 25:51.8; 3. Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR0, 25:53.1; 4. Ebba Andersson (SWE), 26:17.0; 5. Krista Parmakoski (FIN), 26:18.4. Also in the top 25: 18. S. Bjornsen (USA), 26:54.8.

12.5 km Pursuit Freestyle: 1. Johaug (NOR), 23:18.6; 2. Parmakoski (FIN), 23:22.5; 3. Andersson (SWE), 23:24.6; 4. Jessica Diggins (USA), 23:29.9; 5. Oestberg (NOR), 23:37.0. Also in the top 25: 13. S. Bjornsen (USA), 23:53.5.

Final World Cup Standings: 1. Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), 1,654; 2. Natalia Nepryaeva (RUS), 1,431; 3. Theresa Johaug (NOR), 1,322; 4. Krista Parmakoski (FIN), 1,316; 5. Stina Nilsson (SWE), 1,072. Also in the top 25: 6. Jessica Diggins (USA), 1,005; … 14. Sadie Bjornsen (USA), 585; … 21. Sophie Caldwell (USA), 371.

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