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Sundby's fast start pays off as he extends his lead at top of cross-country World Cup standings


OSLO — Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway extended his lead at the top of the cross-country World Cup standings with an impressive win in the 50-kilometer classical-style race on Saturday.

Sundby, who took the initiative from the start, competed for the lead with Niklas Dyrhaug up until 40K, before powering away to win in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 41.9 seconds, 18.8 seconds ahead of his fellow Norwegian.

Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia finished third, more than a minute behind Sundby, who is on track to win his third straight overall World Cup.

It was the 31-year-old's first win at Holmenkollen, having been on the podium the previous four years, and Sundby kissed the ground after crossing the finishing line.

"I managed to finally take this race, it's been a dream for me," he said.

Sundby started the race quickly and he, Dyrhaug, Vylegzhanin and Didrik Toenseth of Norway opened a sizeable gap from the chasing pack by the 15K point.

"I just hoped that the others didn't like the speed," Sundby said. "I wanted to shock them on the first lap. I think everybody reckoned the first lap was going to go easy and then the speed is going to increase. I just tried to go from the beginning today."

Sundby has 1,687 points in the overall standings, 720 ahead of fellow Norwegian Finn Haagen Krogh on 967.

Petter Northug Jr., who won Wednesday's sprint, is third with 945 points.

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