32-year-old Valentina Shevchenko from Ukraine claimed victory in the free technique 30 km interval start race in a total race time of 1:24.14 in Oslo (NOR).
Shevchenko finished the 12,3 and 16,7 km course 14,5 seconds ahead of the Tour de Ski winner Charlotte Kalla (SWE). The third place took Claudia Nystad from Germany, 19,0 seconds behind the winner.
In the exciting competition on wet and slow conditions, Valentina Shevchenko started very slow with having bad skis. After the ski change at 12,3 km she was getting stronger and stronger and took over the lead in the last part of the race from Therese Johaug, who finished at the end on 4th place.
For Shevchenko, it is the second victory in this season after being first in Canmore (CAN). Charlotte Kalla managed her fourth podium this season while Claudia Nystad took her first podium place 2007/2008 and the 19th in her career.
Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) were able to increase the lead in the overall World Cup with her 7th place in the today's race while the runner- up Astrid Jacobsen (NOR) didn't finished the race due to gramps in the legs. Kuitunen is now 210 points ahead of Jacobsen. Third ranked is Charlotte Kalla with 306 points behind Kuitunen. Still 300 points can be earned in the last World Cup events in Bormio at the upcoming weekend.
In the distance World Cup, Shevchenko is in the lead with 607 points followed by Astrid Jacobsen with 572 points and Virpi Kuitunen with 529 points.
The next World Cup competitions for the ladies will be on Friday, 14th of March in St. Caterina – the World Cup Final with three races in three days.
Valentina Shevchenko (UKR): I'm very happy about my victory. I had bad ski's in the beginning of the race but I changed them in the stadium after 12,3 km. From that point I could ski relax and fast. It was a great experience and I'm very proud to have the chance to meet the king- that was super.
Charlotte Kalla (SWE): It is a tough and a long race but I felt really strong during it. It was great to ski on this course with so much Swedish flags on the left and on the right side – all the people were cheering me. I'm now looking forward to the races in St. Caterina – I think that should fit's me well.
Claudia Nystad (GER): I'm very, very satisfied. It was a great long race. I was always very close to the podium but didn't make it this season, so now I'm happy that it finally worked out. The crowd was cheering me and that pushed me for sure. For St. Caterina, I just would like to finish the races because I'm really tired now – it was a long season.
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