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Cassius Klaebo Dominates Men’s 1.6km CL Sprint at Planica World Cup – USA’s Hamilton 19th


January 20, 2018 (Planica, Slovenia) – Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) was unstoppable on his way to victory in the men’s 1.6km CL Sprint in Planica with teammate Emil Iverson in second followed by Sweden’s Teodor Peterson in third at  8.14 seconds back.

Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo
The USA’s Simi Hamilton qualified 16th but was eliminated in his 1/4 final placing 4th to end up 19th on the day. His teammate Andy Newell qualified 23rd and met the same fate in his 1/4 final to finish 20th.

Logan Hanneman (USA) was 35th, Tyler Kornfield (USA) placed 38th, Benjamin Lustgarten (USA) finished 59th, Canadian Julien Locke was 62nd, BobThompson was 66th and Antoine Briand finished 70th.

Men's podium (l-r) Iversen, Klaebo, Peterson [P] Nordic Focus
Klaebo leads the Sprint Cup and is now leading the overall World Cup as well taking over the leader’s bib from Martin Johnsrud Sundby (Nor). “I had a lot of fun out there today. It was great to see so many people along the course and the stadium. I really liked the course with the long uphill sections,” said Klaebo.

The USA’s Hamilton was happy with his race but hoped for more. “I was happy with today’s race. I wasn’t exactly sure how my body would respond in a classic sprint since the only other time I’ve classic sprinted this year was in Ruka when I was battling illness at the beginning of the season. The course was incredibly hard and long, so I was really happy to be able to put together a decent qualifier. Even though classic races are undoubtedly my weakness, I was still confident going into the day because I know my fitness is quite good right now and I’ve been healthy for the last 6 weeks.

Simi Hamilton [P] Nordic Focus
“The skiing was great. The tracks held up really well and it was firm and fast. The downhill corners were a little sketchy because they got progressively icier throughout the day, but as long as you either rode the berm, slid on the ice, or found tacky snow on the outside of the berm, they were fine. It was a pretty unique course because it was so long and there was basically no recovery, but the hardest part about it I think was the 90 second climb that came about half way in. We don’t really see climbs that long on the World Cup, but its always great to race on a course that is pretty different from everything else we race on. My skis were awesome and our techs did an incredible job handing us skis that had great kick and were super fast.

“I knew from the qualifier that I was skiing the long climb really well, so in my quarter final I focused on skiing that climb as fast and smooth as I could to pick off a couple people. I thought I executed that well, but I didn’t have enough gas for the last 200 meters to finish in the top 2. My finish was not that great, but I’ve always really struggled with long double pole finishes when the body is totally flooded with lactate, so that really didn’t come as a surprise. Still, I focused on finishing as hard as I possibly could. All and all, a good day and I’m really looking forward to getting back onto the skate skis for next weekend’s races in Seefeld,” said Hamilton.

Andrew Newell [P] Nordic Focus
His teammate Newell was also looking for a better day in the tracks. “I was hoping for more out there today so a little bit disappointed with the final result. It was beautiful classic conditions out there and pretty straight forward waxing which made for really fun skiing. The course had a little bit of a different feel because it basically just had one really long climb from the low point to the high point. and of course so fast ice corners to keep things interesting. especially in qualification I felt semi out of control and scrubbed some speed. The courses actually skied a bit better in the heats I thought once they had less traffic.

In the heats I again chose heat one with the same strategy I’ve been using. Chose first heat and shoot for a final/podium rather than a top 15 etc. Not sure if thats the right call… hard to tell sometimes. I skied the majority of the heat on the tails of Kleabo until the top of the climb he and Niskenen got a small gap. In the end it wasn’t fast enough.

Although this wasn’t the pre Olympic result I was looking for I still have a few weeks to fine tune classic skiing and fitness and think about what I need to do to have a top performance in Pyeonchang,” he concluded.

Qualifications here.
Results here.

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