There, the Strindheim runner made a comeback in traditional cross-country skiing. He ran his last FIS race in November 2018 and in the meantime has focused on long-distance running.
– It was a lot of fun to compete again, but it’s brutal with a 10 kilometer race when you don’t have the speed and are lying down and fighting all the way to go well technically, Northug told VG shortly after the finish line.
He was quite happy with his position in the race.
– I had estimated and hoped for between 30 and 50. I have too little skating and speed in my body, and too much long-distance running, quite simply, said the former medal wholesaler in the Olympics and World Championships.
It started well for Northug in the 10 kilometer free technique. He was 6.7 seconds behind the leader at the first intermediate time of 2.4 kilometers.
Then it got harder for the sprint cannon from Mosvik. Northug was 25.3 seconds behind the leader after half the race, and at 7.4 kilometers he had lost a further 24 seconds.
At the finish Northug was 1.05.3 behind leader Håvard Hovde. In the end he finished 1.14.2 behind the winner, Iver Tildheim Andersen.
– He is one of the world’s best 10 kilometer skaters. He could easily have won the World Cup, Northug said of Andersen.
Gøran Tefre took 2nd place, while the surprise Håvard Hovde from Mjøsski was third.
Nora Sanness won the women’s 10 kilometers on Nes. She was almost half a minute faster than her Kjelsås friend Sofie Nordsveen, who took 2nd place.