There were no major upsets in women’s classical 10 km race today as the podium was filled with Natalia Nepryaeva on third place, Krista Pärmäkoski came in second with big cheers from the home crowd and Therese Johaug won the race by a clear margin as she beat Pärmäkoski’s time by 30 seconds.

Finnish Kerttu Niskanen came in 10th and Johanna Matintalo in 25th.

USA’s Sadie Maubet Bjornsen finished 4th after a podium place on Fridays sprint race. Bjornsen’s strong showing in Saturday’s race puts her in a strong place for pursuit on Sunday.

Natalia Nepryaeva was satisfied with her own performance as she was impressively able to keep up with the top 2:

I thought the first lap was a bit difficult for me but I could reach my maximum speed in the second lap and was able to close the gap to the girls infront of me.

Nepryaeva also vowed to fight to reach the podium again tomorrow.

The home crowd at Ruka Nordic was sure to be pleased as Krista Pärmäkoski came in 2nd place and the Finnish women’s number one was pleased with her own performance:

– I tried to get through the uphill part of the race and I was waiting for Therese to catch me as she’s so good in the uphill. In the flat part I feel I did well and I was just trying to fight to keep up with Therese until the finish line, Pärmäkoski concludes a fantastic race from her point of view.

When asked about tomorrows race Pärmäkoski was condifent:

– Tomorrow can be tough and it could be snowing and the uphill part in the race is always tough. I feel confident that I’m in good shape and I trust my free style technique tomorrow and that I can achieve a good finish.

Therese Johaug NOR

Winner of the Women’s 10km classical race was, perhaps unsurprisingly, Norway’s Therese Johaug, who was a clear favourite in advance. Johaugh was happy to win the classical race:

– I’m really happy to be back on the podium and I felt good today. The conditions were tough but I had good skis and did well, I’m really happy.

– I know that the pressure is on me, but I just focus on myself and I know I have to fight tomorrow, but today’s results are really important and I’m really happy, says Johaug.

Saturday’s race leaves us with a truly exciting spectacle to look forward to Sunday. Therese Johaug starts first with Krista Pärmäkoski amongst the chasing group.

Rasmus Junila

Laajasalon Opisto