After a gutsy breakaway at only the 5km mark, Norwegian teammates Marit Bjoergen and Hilde Pedersen skied by themselves at the front for the “last” 40km of today's mass-start 45km classic Vasaloppet race in Sweden. With 10km to go, Bjoergen went ahead of Pedersen and surged to a 1 minute, 22-second win–an impressive comeback result for Bjoergen after finishing well-below expectations in the Olympics. Her winning time was 2 hours, 17 minutes and 53 seconds.
Pedersen leads the World Cup pursuit race in Vernon, B.C. earlier this season, Petra Majdic in third. Photo by Karl Saidla
Canadian Beckie Scott led the way for North Americans (and also brought up the rear for them, technically, since there were no other Canadian, US, or Mexican racers entered) finishing 11th with a time of 2:22:06 on a course that was much longer and flatter than any other women's course on the World Cup.
Scott maintains her #2 position in the overall World Cup standings, just ahead of Russian Julija Tchepalova and 121 points behind the overall leader, Bjoergen.
Tomorrow the men will race the 90km.
Full results from the women's 45km classic: