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Northug Stymies Russian Charge, Chase Pack to Win Kuusamo Pursuit

After two straight days of finish-line losses to Russians in Finland, Norwegian Petter Northug wasn’t going to let it happen again on Sunday, especially not to Russia. Northug barely held off Maxim Vlegzhanin (RUS) to win the Kuusamo World Cup 15 k classic pursuit by 1.4 seconds in 41:38.3.

Vlegzhanin surged late after skiing behind two of his teammates, Dmitriy Japarov and Alexander Legkov, who led a 15-person chase group with Alexey Poltoranin (KAZ) for most of the 15 k pursuit. Poltoranin took third (+3.4) in the all-out sprint to the finish, and Dario Cologna finished fourth (+7.8) after starting 1:12 back from Northug.

About 30 seconds separated the top 10, with Ilia Chernousov (RUS) in fifth (+21.1), Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR) in sixth, and Legkov and Japarov in seventh and eighth, respectively. Emil Joensson (SWE) took ninth and Evgeniy Belov (RUS) was 10th.

On the last day of the Ruka Triple mini tour, a couple Canadians moved up the ranks, with Devon Kershaw finishing 22nd (+1:39.6) ahead of teammate Alex Harvey in 23rd (+1:40.5). Ivan Babikov was 25th (+1:53.4), and American Noah Hoffman placed 26th (+1:55.1).

Kevin Sandau (CAN) was 63rd, and Americans Tad Elliott and Sylvan Ellefson were 77th and 83rd, respectively.

Men’s 15 k pursuit results

 

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