Dahl tracks down leader late to win ski marathon

MORA, Sweden — Norwegian John Kristian Dahl won the cross-country ski marathon Vasaloppet in Sweden after a dramatic sprint.

Dahl completed the 56-mile race Sunday in 4 hours, 14 minutes, 33 seconds, beating countryman Johan Kjolstad by 3 seconds. Swede Jorgen Brink finished third, 5 seconds back.

Another Norwegian, Audun Laugaland, long held the lead in the race but was overtaken by Dahl and the others with a kilometer to go.

The competition is one of the world’s oldest cross-country races and is based on Swedish King Gustav Vasa’s attempt to gather peasants for a 1522 revolt against occupying Danes. Vasa fled after failing to gain support, but the locals changed their minds and sent their best skiers to bring him back.

The Vasaloppet follows the same course from Salen to Mora.