Sunday’s pursuit race offered no surprises as the top 5 finished in the exact order as they began the pursuit in. Johannes Klaebo started 16 seconds ahead of his compatriot Emil Iversen and 18 seconds ahead of Iivo Niskanen.

Klaebo showed his magnificent sprint skills to keep ahead of the chasing pack and eventually finishing two seconds ahead of Iversen and 11 seconds ahead of Niskanen, who took the last place on the podium with a 37 second gap to Paal Golberg in 4th. Aleksandr Bolshunov completed the top 5.

Iversen and Niskanen battled fiercely and forced the race into it’s last 200 metres to give the audience and supporters around the Ruka ski stadium a thrilling ending.

Johannes Klaebo

In the end Klaebo was the overall winner of this weekend’s Ruka Triple and was in the top 2 in every race he took place in at Ruka. The champion himself was clearly happy with this years Ruka Nordic:

–  I will leave Ruka with great memories this year, for sure. This year I was ready for everything compared to last year when I was still learning on things. Now on to Lillehammer.

Klaebo was also pleased by the atmosphere around Ruka:

– The Finns even support the Norwegians!

The obvious favourite of the homecrowd, the Olympic gold medalist Niskanen, came in third and thanked the home supporters for a great weekend:

– Some great races and crowds over the weekend. Ruka is just a great place, but I think now it’s the time for sauna as it’s a bit chilly up here!

For the hosts Finland, Perttu Hyvärinen came in 13th place and Lari Lehtonen in 23rd.

The Norwegian domination might be the cross-country skiing headline of the weekend though, as they filled six places from the top 10 which concludes a strong World Cup weekend for the skiing superpower.

 

Rasmus Junila

Laajasalon Opisto