The first weekend after the Tour de Ski is traditionally reserved for sprinters. This time, the world’s fastest skiers including Emil Joensson, Teodor Peterson (both SWE), Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) and Mona-Lisa Malvalehto (FIN) met in the capital of Northern Bohemia, Liberec, which hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2009. An individual classic sprint was on the schedule on 12th January and free technique team sprint on the following day. The World Cup competitions in Liberec were also important to make national sprint team selections for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme 2013.
Despite warm weather conditions, the Organisers secured a sufficient amount of man-made snow to prepare the 850 metre loop, which was skied once for the ladies and twice for the men.
On the ladies’ side Mona-Lisa Malvalehto made history as she sprinted to her first ever World Cup victory and the first Finnish World Cup win since November 2009. Just one week after winning her 4th consecutive Tour de Ski Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) took second in the ladies’ sprint ahead of Maiken Caspersen Falla.
Last year's overall Sprint World Cup champion Teodor Peterson found his winning shape from the previous winter and out-lunged his Swedish teammate Emil Joensson for his first victory of the season. Paal Golberg (NOR) finished third.
Also the ladies’ team sprint on the following day was in the hands of skiers from Northern countries. Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, racing with Maiken Caspersen Falla, powered to the first World Cup win of her career. Second and third spots were taken by team Sweden I and team Sweden II.
On the men's side Russia II (Devjatiarov Jr., Morilov) held off a pair of hard charging Norwegian teams, as well as Russia I. In second place +0.8 sec behind Russia II was Norway I. Russia I took third place as a result of a perfectly timed lunge at the line by Olympic champion Kruikov, bumping Norway II to fourth.
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