Team Norway I with Vibeke Skofterud, Therese Johaug, Astrid U Jacobsen and Marit Bjoergen won 4x5 km relay ladies in Nove Mesto na Morave. Teams Norway II (Heidi Wng, Ragnhild Haga, Krostoffersen, Oestbert) and Finland with Riikka Sarasoja-Lilja, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Riita-Liisa Roponen and Krista Lahteenmaki were fighting hard but Krista Lahteenmaki of Finland edged out Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg in exciting finish.
Soon after the start of the ladies' relay Vibeke Skofterud and Heidi Weng went away from the rest of the field and were leading the way. Russia's Julia Ivanova was in front of the chasing group and was losing after the first exchange +13.6 sec.
In the second classical leg Therese Johaug kept the pace high and left youngster Ragnhild Haga behind. Aino Kaisa Saarinen closed the gap on the second team of Norway but the margin was too big to catch Norway I.
Marit Bjoergen as the anchor lady for the Norwegian team, had the race fully under control and did not allow any drama. With a comfortable gap the winner from yesterday's 15 km mass start classic took team Norway I to second relay victory this season. The successful quartet did not include Kristin Stoermer Steira but Astrid U Jacobsen jumped in in the third leg.
U23 World Champion Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg was fighting hard with Finland's youngster Krista Lahteenmaki. Oestberg was setting the pace for the big part of the two 2.5 km laps. However, on the last climb before the finishing straight Lahteenmaki took over the command. In the last 100 m Oestberg and Lahteenmaki were spurting for the victory. Lahteenmaki had more power left and notched second place for Finland.
Astrid Jacobsen (NOR)
We never take a relay victory for granted, in a relay always everything can happened. For us in Norway it is always great to be selected for the first team, we have there a tough internal fight for these spots. It was hard to race alone the whole way in front, you have to push always because you can lose quite quick a lot of seconds.
Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN)
I did not had my best classical skiing today but I am pleased to finish with my team on the podium. I hope I can improve for the next races. I am looking forward to the next classical distance and sprint races.
Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR)
I felt very strong today. I was skiing with Krista Lahteenmaki and I was planning I could attack in the second lap. I was pushing hard before the highest point but Krista stayed with me. If I had been in front on the last uphill before the finish line I could have won. Next time I have to be smarter.