Paal Golberg of Norway earned his first cross-country World Cup victory Saturday by winning a men’s 15-kilometer classical race, while Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland secured her 28th by dominating the women’s 10K.
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The 23-year-old Golberg finished in exactly 35 minutes to beat Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan by 14.2 seconds. Another Norwegian, Didrik Tonseth, was 15.5 seconds back in third.
Golberg was in tears after his last rivals had finished the interval-start race without matching his time.
"I’m a bit shaken right now," Golberg said. "It feels unreal."
Kowalczyk led from start to finish in a dominating performance to win the women’s 10K race in 24 minutes, 59.4 seconds to finish 12.4 seconds ahead of Charlotte Kalla of Sweden. More impressively, Kowalczyk beat triple Olympic champion Marit Bjoergen of Norway by 25.6 seconds to send an early message ahead of the Sochi Games. Bjoergen finished third ahead of fellow Norwegian Therese Johaug.
Kowalczyk has now won 13 of the last 19 classical-style distance races on the World Cup.
"My skis were perfect today and I was really good," the Polish skier said. "It’s a really good feeling."