Cross-Country Skiing - Norway and Russia take victory in cross country team relays

Hosts Norway made their mark in the World Cup season's first cross country team relays with gold in the women's 4x5km and silver and bronze in the men's 4x7.5km races.

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Cross-Country Skiing - Norway and Russia take victory in cross country team relays
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Marit Bjorgen of Norway (Imago)

Marit Bjorgen took bronze in the women's 10km C individual event the day previous in Lillehammer to lead the overall standings and she was left to anchor the Norway I side to victory in an overall time of 58:38.9.

Earlier Heidi Weng, Therese Johaug, Kristin Stormer Steira had put the Norwegians in a strong position on the classic and free technique legs.

Finland I took second 1:13.2 minutes behind Norway while USA I claimed the US ladies team's second-ever team relay podium finish when they came in third.

While in the men's team relay, Russia I took the win in a pulsating race after Maxim Vylegzhanin outsprinted a block of three Norway teams on the downhill section.

Russia, made up of Dmitriy Japarov, Alexander Bessmertnkyh, Alexander Legkov and Vylegzhanin, crossed in a time 1:19.04.7.

Norway I boasted this season's overall leader in their ranks in the form of Martin Johnsrud Sundby as well as last year's World Cup champion Petter Northug Jr.

But they had to settle for bronze as Norway II edged them out by the finest of margins in a time of 1:19.06.3 to take silver, with Norway III also finishing in fourth place.

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