Marit Bjoergen from Norway claimed victory in the first race of the season, the interval start over 10 km free technique.
Bjoerhen finished in 23:48,4min with a big gap of 41,1 second ahead the home favorite Charlotte Kalla (SWE). Arianna Follis captured the last spot of the podium and finished third 51,4 seconds behind the winner.
Bjoergen dominated the race on the technical challenging course during the entire 10km and kept Charlotte Kalla who grew up close to Gällivare in a good distance. Arianna Follis had a tight fight with Kirstin Stoermer Steira for the third spot. For Bjoergen it was the 38th victory whilst Kalla fixed her 8th podium spot in her career.
The new leader of the overall World Cup is Marit Bjoergen (NOR) with 100 points, 20 points ahead of Kalla and 40 points ahead of Follis.
Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
I think it was my best skating race ever. I knew that I was in good shape, I did a very good race in Beitostølen last week. But in the beginning of this week I was little bit not feeling so good. It was a tough race last Saturday. But yesterday and today I felt that I am ok and 100 % fit. I have been good all the summer and working very hard. Hopefully I will keep the yellow shirt to Christmas.
Charlotte Kalla (SWE)
It was a fantastic audience around the track, they screamed and it was really nice to compete today. Good conditions. It’s a tough track, quite technical one so I tried to do my best and I think it’s really fair.
It’s quite exciting to go the first race. It’s many months since I compete against the other so I looked forward to start today.
Arianna Follis (ITA)
I’m very happy because I start this season very good. I have a good feeling. The track is very nice, good for me because there is a technical track with many corners and it’s good for me. My training in summer in general was very well.