Klaebo nears x-country World Cup title, Bolshunov wins race

FALUN, Sweden (AP) — Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway narrowly missed out on securing his first World Cup cross-country skiing season title in a race won by Alexander Bolshunov of Russia on Saturday.

Bolshunov, three times a silver medalist at the Pyeongchang Olympics, beat Calle Halfvarsson of Sweden by 1.3 seconds with a strong final sprint in a 15-kilometer mass start for his first career win. Francesco de Fabiani of Italy was third.

In the season title race, Switzerland’s Dario Cologna kept his hopes alive mathematically with sixth because Klaebo finished 22nd. However, Klaebo leads the standings by 249 points with a maximum 250 still available.

Heidi Weng of Norway remained atop the women’s standings even as she finished 22nd in her 10K classic.

However, compatriot Ingvild Oestberg could overtake her with a strong performance in Sunday’s pursuit. Oestberg placed third on Saturday as Finland’s Krista Parmakoski beat Marit Bjoergen by centimeters.

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