Kine Beate Bjornaas won Sunday’s 30-kilometer classic race at the Norwegian championship ahead of Kristin Murer Stemland and Kristin Stormer Seira. Hilde G. Pedersen was a DNF and Marit Bjorgen a DNS.
– I was almost in a class by myself at the end, said gold medal winner Kine Beate Bjornaas after the race.
The silver medal winner, Kristin Stemland started 15-seconds behind Bjornaas and caught her early. They skied together for a long time, but Bjornaas pulled away with seven kilometers to go and won by 34 seconds.
– I started conservative and decided to hang on to Kristin when she passed me said Bjornaas.
They skied together from three to the 23-kilometer mark when Bjornaas made her move.
– I was hanging on until it was seven kilometer to go and made my move and accelerated when we got into easier terrain. I know I’m better than Kristin in the downhills and had suddenly opened up a gap to her, said Bjornaas.
– I really wanted to medal today, but gold was above my expectations, said Bjornaas and is now looking toward next season.
– I will now evaluate this season and find out what I can improve ahead of next years big goal, the Olympics in Torino, Italy, says the gold medal winner.
Hilde G. Pedersen was in third place 35 seconds behind halfway through the race, but pulled out due to a back injury she got last Thursday.
– I fell on my butt in a sprint race in Brummundal on Thursday and hurt my back. I wanted to finish strong today, but choose to pull out when my back wasn’t cooperating, said Gjermundshaug.
Kristin Stormer Steira was third almost two minutes out.
Marit Bjorgen was sick and watched the race from the sideline
Complete results at http://www.langrenn.com/cparticle236946-28734.html