Men’s Cross-country ski world cup culminated with the 4×5 km relay competition. This was the first time this season that athletes skied in a relay, so today’s race was a good indication of nation’s ranking before World Ski Championships at Oberstdorf next month.
Norway´s team supplemented nations perfect day with a win. Norway’s relay team consisted of Pål Golberg, Emil Iversen, Sjur Roethe and Simen Hegstad Krueger.
Sjur Roethe was happy with his performance: ” I felt really strong today, it is good to be back in the world cup”. Roethe also commented how today’s race did prepare to Oberstdorf 2021: ” It was always fun to do relay and it was important to me do well so that I know that I can be successful in relay’s third leg”
Norway´s and Russia´s teams dominated race from the beginning. At a 23 km mark, Finland´s Iivo Niskanen took third place in race.
When the race was at 27 km Finland rose to second place with anchor Joni Mäki. From so-called “indian hill” Mäki and Russia´s Alexander Bolshunov had a tight race always until to finish area. Joni Mäki crossed finish line before Bolshunov and Finland celebrated first podium place since 2000.
Today was a special day to Joni Mäki who turned 26: ” I had a really good starting position. I have not been this nervous for a while because this was my first relay and also as an anchor”. He also commented that Finland is in good condition for world championships.
Because of actions of final sprint competition jury disqualified Russia´s 1 team and Russia 2 team joined Norway and Finland to podium.
Team Norway´s winning time was 1:07:56.8. Finland 1 team was +40.9 second from winners and Russia 2 team +1:07.2 second. Team Germany and Team Switzerland joined Norway, Finland, and Russia to top 5.
See full result of men´s relay race: http://live.fis-ski.com/cc-2012/results-pda.htm
Photo: Pepe Korteniemi