Paul Constantin Pepene made the historical victory for Roumania on the 15 km + 15km long course in a time of 1:25:45h. He finished clearly 24,5 seconds ahead of Ole Marius Bach from Norway, who was the strongest in the finish sprint for place two. Third place went to the home favourite and native from Black Forest Andreas Katz, who finished 25,9 seconds behind the winner.
Pepene stayed the race in the main field until around km 19 where he was attacking and making the gap to this strongest competitiors Bach, Katz and Yoshida (JPN). At km 26km Pepene had already a gap of 30 seconds to the chasing group.
For Pepene the U23 World Champion title is the biggest success after winning in this year a Continentalcup race of the OPA series in Alta Badia (ITA).
Results will be available here
Paul Constantin Pepen (ROU): The race was not so tough as I had expected. I like these kind of conditions. They suit me. It was a tactical race today. I felt very strong today. I noticed the others were not so strong and decided to attack in the second skating loop. I did very good training in autumn and it payed back today.
Ole Marius Bach (NOR): It was a tactical race today. It was hard but pace was not so hard. Paul was today strongest and I could not respond to his attack. Crowds along the course were just amazing and atmosphere was great.¨
Andreas Katz (GER): It is great for the whole team to gain bronze medal. I am very happy about my third place. First half of the race was kind of slow. Skating was faster. I tried to stay together with the leading group and spent a lot of energy on that. I had great skis today. Service staff did a great job. My big thanks go to them.
Astrid Oeyre Slind took the victory on the demanding 7,5 km + 7,5 km course at Notschrei in a time of 44:47 min, just 8,1 seconds ahead of her team mate Hilde Lauvhaug. The last spot on the podium took Svetlana Nikolaeva.
It was a tight race. Until the last part of the free technique 9 racers where within 10 seconds. Slind searched the decision on the last kilometers and was able to take her first U23 World Champion title while her team mate Hilde Lauvhaug made her first podium at the U23 World Championships in her first senior year.
Results are available here.
Astrid Oeyre Slind (NOR): At the beginning I wanted to perform easy skiing without pushing hard. Later in the race we got together with Hilde and we cooperated perfectly. Both me and Hilde did not feel well on THursday. Therefore we discussed together and decided to ski together and try to cooperate and support each other. To gain a medal was my goal today. When it is gold it is just great.
Hilde Lauvhaug (NOR): I was totally exhausted in the finish. After the finish line I had to lay down and rest little and I almost fall asleep. It was a very tough race. I hoped to be top six today. I skied easy in classic part and pushed hard in skating. Our tactics with Astrid was just gereat and it was big fun to race today.
Svetlana Nikolaeva (RUS): I feel completely happy. It is big success for me. Free technique part was very tough for me. Courses here are demanding.