Johaug and Vylegzhanin win in Rybinsk

Sun, 05 Feb 15:47:00 2012

Therese Johaug took her first individual World Cup victory for nearly 11 months – and only second ever – after dominating the women's 2 x 7.5 kilometre double pursuit in Rybinsk.

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Johaug is no stranger to the Norwegian relay quartet having won Olympic and World Championship 4x5km gold in 2010 and 2011 respectively but has been slow to shine individually.

The 23-year-old did claim world 30km freestyle gold last year but in this year’s World Cup campaign she has too often been seen on the second or third step of the podium.

However that was not the case in Rybinsk as Johaug stormed to victory for her first win since finishing first in the 5km classic and 5km freestyle pursuit in Finland in March 2011.

She clocked a winning time of 42 minutes 41.4 seconds – nearly 30 seconds ahead of Justyna Kowalczyk and almost a minute ahead of team-mate Marit Bjoergen.

Kowalczyk’s second does put her top of the overall World Cup rankings with 1682 points – just two ahead of Bjoergen while Johaug is well behind in third with 1240.

Russia's Maxim Vylegzhanin showed greater stamina and speed at the death to beat team-mate Ilia Chernousov in the men's race.

Johaug and Vylegzhanin win in Rybinsk

The 29-year-old, who won double silver at last year’s World Championships, was one of 16 skiers in the leading pack in final 5km of the 15km+15km classic freestyle skiathlon on Russian snow.

Fellow Russian Petr Sedov looked to have made a telling break with 2.5km to go however the pack reeled him in with Vylegzhanin and Chernousov eventually storming clear with the finishing line beckoning.

And with Chernousov leading, Vylegzhanin made a perfect move with 150m left, passing his compatriot to race home and clock a time of 1:20:37.6 for only the second individual World Cup win of his career.

Chernousov faded in the latter stages and just held onto second, six seconds behind Vylegzhanin, with German Tobias Angerer, preventing a Russian one-two-three courtesy of a better stretch at the line.

Just 0.3 seconds behind Chernousov, he beat Eugeniy Dementiev with Sedov eventually coming home fifth and Canadian Devon Kershaw, who won his first-ever World Cup race on Saturday, sixth.

Sportsbeat / Eurosport

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