The Swedish relay team of Mats Larsson, Johan Olsson, Daniel Rickardsson and the local favourite Marcus Hellner claimed victory in the 4 x 10 km World Cup competition in Gällivare.
The Olympic Champions finished 0,8 seconds ahead of the Russians (Evgeniy Belov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Petr Sedov and Alexander Legkov). The third place went to Norway (Eldar Roenning, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Chris Andre Jespersen and Sjur Roethe), that finished 47,9 seconds behind the winning team.
It was a tight fight, Sweden and Russia were always placed in the leading group that at the end the attack of Marcus Hellner against Alexander Legkov at the last uphill decided the race. For the last podium spot only Norway and Switzerland had a change but Swiss last racer, Curdin Perl crashed in the second last curve and Norway could bring the gained advantage to the finish.
After the first weekend Norway is leading the nations cup with 726 points, just 26 points ahead of Sweden (700 points). On the third place is currently Russia.
Marcus Hellner (SWE)
We are really glad about the victory. It was a pressure on us but we are in a good shape as we already showed yesterday. It is fantastic to race here in front of the crowd. My plan was it to let Legkov the lead until the last hill, I know the course very well and I was confident that I can take the victory.
Alexander Legkov (RUS)
I am not happy about the today’s race. I thought I could catch Marcus. I tried to make it a little bit slow at the finish.
Sjur Roethe (NOR)
I was hoping to catch up with the lead, but it was tough. It was a fight between me and Curdin and I felt that I had control of. We had been hoping to fight in the top, and we wanted to beat Sweden. Maybe next time we will beat them.