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Johaug clinches home victory as Bolshunov spoils the party

Johaug clinches home victory as Bolshunov spoils the party
By Sportsbeat

07/12/2019 at 16:34Updated 07/12/2019 at 16:52

Therese Johaug sped to a home 7.5km cross-country World Cup victory in in Lillehammer, crushing the field to win by more than a minute.

The 31-year-old led from the front in Norway, opening up a 13.8 seconds lead after the first 2.4 kilometres, and continued to increase the gap in a race where nobody could mount a serious challenge. Victory made it back-to-back World Cup wins as American Jessica Diggins finished second, 68 seconds behind Johaug in the end and fellow home competitor Heidi Weng completed the podium 79 seconds later.

Meanwhile in the men's event, Russian Alexander Bolshunov was able to hold off the Norwegian onslaught as he soared past them on the final bump. Victory was the 22-year-old's seventh on the World Cup circuit and prevented reigning champion Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo from clinching back-to-back wins this season. In fact Klaebo was unable to secure a spot in the top three as Hans Christer Holund finished 2.2 seconds behind the Russian and Emil Iversen took third.

Such was the strength of the Norwegian contingent they occupied the next three spaces too with Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Sjur Roethe finishing behind Klaebo.

Sportsbeat 2019