CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Norway’s Klaebo and Falla best in the Sprints in Lahti

Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (Photo: Steffen Proessdorf via Wikipedia)

Norway swept both of the individual Sprint races in Lahti (FIN), with Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo winning his sixth race of the season.

The short, 1.6 km race saw Klaebo finish just 0.30 seconds ahead of Italy’s Federico Pellegrino and 0.61 apart from teammate Finn Hagen Krogh, but it was another win.

Klaebo’s overall World Cup lead expanded to 1,134-946 over Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov after 22 of 29 races this season. He’s in position to win the seasonal title, but not close to clinching yet.

The women’s Sprint saw the 2017-18 Sprint champ, Maiken Caspersen Falla just edge Sophie Caldwell of the U.S., 2:43.64 to 2:43.75.

“I’m really happy with my race today,” said Caldwell. “The conditions were wet and fast and this course is always a fun one with how tactical it can be. I was happy to feel better as the day went on and to finish second in the final was awesome.”

It was Caldwell’s third medal of the season: all silvers and all in Freestyle Sprints. It’s the second time she’s won a medal in Lahti, previously a bronze in 2014 for her first World Cup podium.

Falla has won two Sprints in a row and has edged up on seasonal leader Stina Nilsson (SWE) to within 426-363. Another Sprint is scheduled for this week as the World Cup moves to Cogne (ITA). Summaries:

FIS Cross Country World Cup
Lahti (FIN) ~ 9-10 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s 1.6 km Freestyle Sprint: 1. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR), 2:52.06; 2. Federico Pellegrino (ITA), +0:30; 3. Finn Haagen Krogh (NOR), +0.61; 4. Eirik Bransdal (NOR), +1:31; 5. Emil Iversen (NOR), +1.75.

Men’s Team Freestyle Sprint: 1. Emil Iversen/Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR), 18:57.19; 2. Sindre Skar/Eirik Brandsdal (NOR), 18:57.84; 3. Iivo Niskanen/Ristomatti Hakola (FIN), 18:57.90. Also: 12. Kevin Bolger/Logan Hanneman (USA), 19:37.82; … 14. Simi Hamilton/Erik Bjornsen (USA), 19:47.27.

Women’s 1.4 km Freestyle Sprint: 1. Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR), 2:43.64; 2. Sophie Caldwell (USA), +0.11; 3. Maja Dahlqvist (SWE), +0.37; 4. Sandra Ringwald (GER), +0.46; 5. Mari Eide (NOR), +0.75.

Women’s Team Freestyle Sprint: 1. Ida Ingemarsdotter/Maja Dahlqvist (SWE), 18:24.96; 2. Tiril weng/Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR), 18:26.80; 3. Evelina Settin/Hanna Falk (SWE), 18:28.51. Also: 12. Ida Sargent/Sophie Caldwell (USA), 18:47.52; … 14. Kelsey Phinney/Julia Kern (USA), 19:37.41.