“So many memories”
The Norwegian veteran was ecstatic with his win today. “I have so many memories from this place. My first victory, you know you are getting old when you say thirteen years ago. I was always quite good at this place. I do not know why. I like it here and today was also a good day, but you never know. When my brother was so strong after prone, I thought the victory was gone. But still I did a perfect race and I am just so happy.”
Rooting for Sturla
The moments watching Laegreid as he ran the last loop filled the winner with mixed emotions. “Some percentage of my was cheering for him, because it had been a tough season so far. I was so happy that he was back. Of course, I wanted to be in front of him. For me this was a perfect combo: I got the win and he got his body working again, so I think both of us are quite happy today.”
Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson and Martin Ponsiluoma both with a single penalty finished third and fourth, 10 and 18.4 seconds back, both vying for the lead one time. Samuelsson’s third place secured the Yellow Bib for tomorrow’s pursuit. Johannes Dale-Skjevdal and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen gave Norway four of the spots in the Flower Ceremony with fifth and sixth places.
Fast tracks and -4C with light wind were the perfect set-up for the season’s second sprint. Clean, fast prone shooting put JT Boe and Christiansen at the top of the leaderboard. Tarjei cleaned prone but was 12.8 seconds back, while Laegreid also was perfect just but only .6 seconds faster.
JT spoiled his podium chances missing three shots; Samuelsson came back with a perfect standing stage for the lead. The elder Boe brother continued his good day with an excellent standing stage, moving into the top spot. Laegreid made his bid by matching, taking a 4.5-lead over his teammate.
Samuelsson skied the last loop well, but Tarjei continued his torrid pace, flying through the last loop, while Laegreid skiing behind was slowly losing ground, less than a second up at 8.6 km. Tarjei stood at the finish, with his fingers crossed as Laegreid finished 4.9 seconds short, preserving Tarjei’s first victory since January 2021.
Photos: IBU/Jasmin Walter