Friday, January 21

Klæbo to the top after a turbulent week: – It has cost a lot

LILLEHAMMER (VG) Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (25) showed his usual superiority again in the sprint after the sponsorship brawl. That coach and grandfather Kåre Høsflot was present meant extra much.

OWN CLASS: Johannes Høsflot Klæbo celebrates sprint victory in the World Cup. Behind, Thomas Helland Larsen skates to second place ahead of Richard Jouve.

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– It is great and good to be back again, and feel that the body is where it should be, Klæbo says to VG.

The speed at the end of Klæbo was absolutely superb. He was not threatened in the race, and celebrated victory number 41 in the World Cup in front of the audience, where the family was also present. Including coach and grandfather Kåre Høsflot who recently had a stroke.

– That he is able to be here to watch cross-country skiing means a lot to him. He does not think it is so fun to watch cross-country skiing on TV when he knows how it can be in the stadium. It means a lot that he’s here. It will be a little extra special to win, says Klæbo to VG.

This week has been turbulent for Klæbo due to sponsorkonflikten.

– I am very happy that I can turn around. I have spent a lot of energy and time skiing as fast as possible today. That’s what I’m being measured on. To manage it is a good feeling that you have control over your head in important situations and the body is where it should be, says Klæbo.

– How much has it cost?

– It has cost a lot of course, but I am very happy that I can stand here and smile after a good ski race, Klæbo answers.

Last weekend, Klæbo had to settle for second place behind Russian Aleksandr Terentjev, his first defeat in the sprint for a foreign competitor in three years.

Thomas Helland Larsen (23), who is not on the national team, provided double Norwegian ahead of Richard Jouve with the first podium of his career in the World Cup. Thus, he joins the debate about a place in the Olympic squad, where the sprint is freestyle.

– It’s so sick big to get it out, says Helland Larsen, who only has a 26th and 48th place in the World Cup from before.

– Absolutely raw, says Team Norconsult coach Ola Kvisle about his student to VG.

– Then Thomas is suddenly in the Olympic match. He shows he is relevant, and it is incredible, says Kvisle.

Håvard Solås Taugbøl, Lauri Vourinen and Marcus Grate ended up off the podium.

It’s been storming around Klæbo this week. Adressa revealed that he did not use the logo of the Ski Association’s sponsor and licensee Viaplay on the suit last weekend.

Klæbo believes the collaboration is problematic for credibility. Klæbo’s plan was for him to continue with the protest, but on Thursday the case took a new turn and he still agreed to use the logo.

The Norwegian Ski Association and Klæbo have “agreed to disagree”. Klæbo was affected the press conference on Thursday, and several ski experts believe that there is a power struggle between the athlete and the association.

Erik Valnes, one of the big pre-favorites, smoked out in the semifinals. Even Northug and Finn Hågen Krogh did the same.

– Stick out, says Valnes to NRK.

Haakon Skaanes, Pål Golberg and Sindre Bjørnestad Skar thanked each other in the quarterfinals. Emil Iversen went out in a sprint prologue for the second weekend in a row.

On the women’s side won Maja Dahlqvist in front of Jessie Diggins and Tiril Udnes Weng.

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