Another bluebird day lay over Oslo and the Holmenkollen for the prestigious 50km race. Top conditions awaited along the 8.3km long course that had to be skied six times. In traditional Holmenkollen Skifest fashion, spectators were back allowed in the stands and the woods along the course and supported the 64 starters by cheering all along.
The race for the famous victory remained a close call until the finish.
The list of possible top finishers was long. Thereof, the leading position and the role of pace maker, changed frequently between top athletes such as Hans Christer Holund, Iivo Niskanen, Didrik Tønseth, Andrew Musgrave, Simen Hegstad Krüger – but was also taken by younger Norwegian talents such as Martin Nyenget Løwstrøm and Harald Østberg Amundsen.
Only in the second half of the race, when it came to the decisions to make use of a possible ski exchange, the speed was taken up as the leading group needed to catch up with Amundsen, who had changed his skis one lap earlier than the leading group and thus had charged off when everyone else went to the “box stop”.
In the following long climbing section to the highest point at “Frognerseteren”, six athletes had advanced to a leading group with Didrik Tønseth, Martin Løwstrøm Nyenget, Sjur Røthe, Iivo Niskanen, William Poromaa and Hans Christer Holund.
Due to a fall by Simen Hegstad Krüger, also Dario Cologna came to fall which was unfortunate as the 35 year-old Swiss was on course of this final World Cup race of his very successful career.
In the front, the good quality of the new skis became a decisive factor for the final loop. Didrik Tønseth took the lead and sped up with Nyenget and Røthe on his heels. As the only non-Norwegians, William Poromaa and Iivo Niskanen managed to keep up. But after passing for the final round around the stadium, the Norwegian trio exhilarated once more and it came down to a finish sprint between the three.