CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Olympic champ Nilsson leads Swedish Sprint sweep

Sweden's Olympic Sprint champ Stina Nilsson

Norway has long been the power in Cross Country Skiing, but when it comes to the sprint races, Sweden’s women are the ones to beat right now. That was powerfully demonstrated at the Cross Country World Cup in Dresden (GER), with a sweep by Olympic gold medalist Stina Nilsson, Maja Dahlqvist and Jonna Sundling.

The race was close, with Nilsson finishing only a half-second ahead of Dahlqvist and Sundling outleaning Swiss Nadine Faehndrich at the finish for third. But there was no doubt in the Team Sprint, with Nilsson and Dahlqvist finishing 1.11 seconds ahead of Ida Ingemarsdotter and Sundling.

That race was especially thrilling, with a near three-way tie for second. The Swedes, Norway and the U.S. teams all came across the line together and the phototimer assigned the same times to all three, down to the 100ths of seconds: 24:03.56. But Ingemarsdotter and Sundling got second, Mari Eide and Maiken Falla (NOR) took third and American Julia Kern (21) and Sophie Caldwell got fourth.

In the men’s Sprints, Norway’s Sindre Bjoernestad Skar won both the individual, 1.6 km race and teamed with Erik Valnes to win the Team Sprint. Summaries:

FIS Cross Country World Cup
Dresden (GER) ~ 12-13 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s 1.6 km Sprint Freestyle: 1. Sindre Bjoernestad Skar (NOR), 3:25.94; 2. Gieb Retivykh (RUS), +0.11; 3. Erik Valnes (NOR), +2.83; 4. Richard Jouve (FRA), +11.22; 5. Lucas Chanavat (FRA), +21.94.

Men’s Team Sprint Freestyle: 1. Erik Valnes/Sindre Skar (NOR), 22:38.72; 2. Paal Goldberg/Eirik Brandsdal (NOR), 22:39.47; 3. Artem Maltsev/Gieb Retivykh (RUS), 22:39.52; 4. Roman Schaad/Jovian Hediger (SUI), 22:39.73; 5. Andrey Krasnov/Alexander Terentev (RUS), 22:39.76.

Women’s 1.6 km Sprint Freestyle: 1. Stina Nilsson (SWE), 3:48.49; 2. Maja Dahlqvist (SWE), +0.24; 3. Jonna Sundling (SWE), +0.54; 4. Nadine Faehndrich (SUI), +0.56; 5. Sophie Caldwell (USA), +2.61.

Women’s Team Sprint Freestyle: 1. Stina Nilsson/Maja Dahlqvist (SWE), 24:02.45; 2. Ida Ingemarsdotter/Jonna Sundling (SWE), 24:03.56; 3. Mari Eide/Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR), 24:03.56; 4. Julia Kern/Sophie Caldwell (USA), 24:03.56; 5. Laurien van der Graff/Nadine Faehndrich (SUI), 24:04.47.