Both Norwegian teams won the relay competition in Falun (SWE) – the ladies over 4 x 5 km and the men over 4 x 10 km.
Norway I with Ingri Aunet Tyldum, Astrid Jacobsen, Kristin Steira Stroermer and Marit Bjoergen won the relay competition with a total racing time of 56:29.7 min. On second position followed Finland (Kuitunen, Saarinen, Roponen and Sarasoja) clearly 30,9 seconds behind the winning team. Third place took Germany (Boehler, Zeller, Nystad, Sachenbacher-Stehle) with a gap of 55,7 seconds behind Norway I.
Norway and Finland made the speed from the beginning and increased the gap to the other competitors from lap to lap. On the last round Sarasoja couldn't follow anymore the speed of Bjoergen. The Finish team had a moment of shock, when Riitta-Liisa Roponen took the wrong course and lost a lot of time.
In men's competition, Norway II with Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Chris Jespersen, Morten Eilifsen and Petter Northug claimed victory in a finish sprint 1,0 seconds ahead of their team mates from Norway I (Svartedal, Hjelmeset, Oestensen and Gjerdalen). On third place finished Czech Republic (Jaks, Bauer, Magal, Koukal), just 1,7 seconds behind the winning team. First who edged out from the podium was Germany.
The four teams Norway I, Norway II, Czech Republic and Germany had a big fight during the entire race. Czech Republic and Germany made several attacks during the last part and especially on the ‘Mördarbacken' (Killer Hill) but they couldn't split the group before the finish straight.
In the nations cups, Norway is in the lead with 8281 points ahead of Germany (4896 points) and Russia (4797 points).
The next Sprint World Cup competition will take place on Wednesday, 27th of February, in Stockholm.
Ingri Aunet Tyldum (NOR): It is amazing for me. It's my first World Cup victory with the team. Our plan was to start as fast as I could and follow Kuitunen and it worked perfectly out. Now I hope I can make some more good results in the following classical races.
Riikka Sarasoja (FIN): My race today was better than yesterday. I was a little bit sick after Liberec but now I feel good. My tactic was to ski as long as possible together with Marit and keep second place.
Claudia Nystad (GER): It was really tough today; there was a big gap between the leader group and us. But I tried to ski as best as I could. I'm a little bit tired, we have skied all the World Cup competitions and now I can feel it in my body. But we have not the courage to skip out a race.
Petter Northug (NOR II): The course fits me – especially the last few hundred meters. Last year I won the Pursuit in the final sprint and this year I took the team victory due to my sprint qualities on the last few meters.
In this season the second team of Norway always wins the relay competitions. We seem to be the better team (smile). Now I hope I can make a good race in Lahti and in Oslo – in the 50 km free technique Holmenkollen race.