Finland's Mona-Lisa Malvalehto has won her first ever World Cup competition with a classic sprint win in Liberec, Czech. Just one week after winning her 4th consecutive Tour de Ski Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) took second in the ladies sprint, just head of Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla.
Last year's overall Sprint World Cup champion Teodor Peterson out lunged his Swedish teammate Emil Jönsson for his first victory of the season. Paal Golberg (NOR) finished third.
- First ever World Cup win for Mona-Lisa Malvalehto
- Malvalehto is Junior World Champion in 5 km Classic in Solleftea 2005 and sprint free in Schonach 2002
- Malvalehto led in every round including qualification
- Falla beat out Canada's Dasha Gaiazova for third in a photo finish
- First World Cup win of the season for Teodor Petterson (SWE)
- Photo finish for victory between Petterson and Joensson
- After leading the men's final into the homestretch Norway's Paal Golberg was overtaken by both Peterson and Jönsson to finish third
Mona-Lisa Malvalehto (FIN)
It is unbelievable. My shape is back. I think I would not be the winner not having my two-year old kid. The course today fit me well. I have good endurance. We have a great team and I hope I will qualify for the World Championships.
Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)
I was not sure about today but I have always been on the podium in Liberec. I did not feel too tired after the Tour. I stayed in Val di Fiemme until Thursday. I am feeling very good but at the World Championships the sprint course will be tougher and longer too. We will see.
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR)
I did not mind having a shorter sprint today. It was something new. I am happy for the third place. It is a good sign for me before the World Championships. I will be training now in the high altitude to get even in a better shape for the World Championships.
Paal Golberg (NOR)
My goal was to make it to the final. My skis were good and I could go for victory but Emil and Theo were better. Last 50 m were too long for me. My tactic was to be in the back in the first lap to control the field and go hard in the second lap.
Emil Joensson (SWE)
It's unfortunate I lost to Theodor but I am happy for him to take the first victory of the season. The sprint was much harder than I expected. I was feeling my legs in the second lap. I am happy I am on the podium.
Teodor Pettersson (SWE)
It feels great to be the first non-Norwegian on the podium. I have had some good competitions this winter but no victory. I will try to keep the winning momentum for the rest of the season. It was very close with Emil. I felt strong today but I did not see Emil coming from behind. Last four meters were important for the victory.
Ladies Classic Sprint
1. Mona-Lisa Malvalehto FIN
2. Justyna Kowalczyk POL
3. Maiken Caspersen Falla NOR
Men Classic Sprint
1. Teodor Petterson SWE
2. Emil Joensson SWE
3. Paal Golberg NOR
SPRINT CUP STANDING LADIES
1. Kikkan Randall USA 256 points
2. Maiken Caspersen Falla NOR 240 points
3. Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg NOR 189 points
SPRINT CUP STANDING MEN
1. Emil Joensson SWE 342 points
2. Teodor Petterson SWE 210 points
3. Nikita Kriukov RUS 168 points
OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDING LADIES
1. Justyna Kowalczyk POL 1302 points
2. Therese Johaug NOR 852 points
3. Kikkan Randall USA 774 points
OVERALL WORLD CUP STANDING MEN
1. Alexander Legkov RUS 799 points
2. Petter Northug Jr. NOR 759 points
3. Dario Cologna SUI 751 points
Partly Cloudy, packed snow conditions. Air: -3.3°C. Snow: 0.0°C.
Please note that high quality action and podium pictures from today’s competitions are available for purchase through the Internet portal offered by Nordic Focus, FIS Partner for photos from the Nordic Disciplines, at www.nordicfocus.com