Oslo, Norway – In World Cup action on Saturday, Anders Soedergren (SWE) skied to victory in the famous Holemkollen 50km race in Oslo, Norway. Soerdergren led at every checkpoint in the individual start freestyle race and finished 2:32.5 ahead of Lukas Bauer (CZE). Remo Fischer (SUI) finished third, .2 seconds ahead of Vincent Vittoz (FRA) and 30 seconds behind Bauer.
Said Bauer, “I had a dream season and today I managed again a podium place in the 50 km. I started slowly, because I have to ski relaxed at the beginning; than I increased the speed and my skis on the second lap were also great. The pit stop is a good introduction especially on this spring conditions.”
Bauer was referring to the “pit stop” where skiers are allowed to swap skis during the race. This was first introduced at Holmenkollen last year.
Soedergen won this same event in 2006, and was in fine form despite wet, slushy conditions. He finished in a time of 2:11:44.7. For Fischer, this was his first ever World Cup podium. His previous best was a 5th place finish last year in Davos.
“I'm very, very happy about today's race. I can not believe it — it is awesome!” said Fischer. “I had a perfect race today, everything worked optimally. The spectators out in the wood pushed me a lot. In the finish I pushed my leg in front, that was this small cm which I was ahead of Vittoz.”
In what had to be a disappointing day for the host nation, no Norweigans made it onto the podium — biathlete Frode Andersen led the way in 8th place.
Kris Freeman was one of two Americans to start, finishing 44th, +15:19.9. “It was really slow wet mushy snow. I started out not feeling very good and that's how I stayed the whole race,” Freeman said. “It was a disappointing day. The only real shining spot was that I managed to finish and about a fifth of the field didn't.”
World Cup rookie, Garrott Kuzzy, the only other starter for the American squad, finished his first Holemkollen in 46th, 44 seconds in back of Freeman.
Stefan Kuhn was the lone Canadian to complete the race. He finished 53rd of the 56 finishers. His teammate George Gray was one of 12 starters who abandoned the race. Devon Kershaw was entered, but did not start.