Swedes sweep cross-country relays with men’s 4x10km triumph


Meatballs for everyone!

One day after the Swedish women took gold in the 4x5km relay thanks to Charlotte Kalla’s stellar final leg, the Swedish men followed that with a successful Olympic title defense in the 4x10km relay this morning.

With the flag of his country in his hand, Marcus Hellner (pictured) had an easy jaunt down the final straightaway and past the finish line before popping off his skis to celebrate with teammates Lars Nelson, Daniel Richardsson, and Johan Olsson.

Hellner, Richardsson and Olsson had already bagged individual medals in Sochi before today’s race; Hellner won silver in last weekend’s men’s skiathlon, while Olsson and Richardsson took silver and bronze respectively on Friday in the 15km classic.

MORE: Bode Miller becomes most decorated Alpine skier in U.S. history

The Russians claimed silver to the delight of the home crowd, finishing 27.3 seconds behind the Swedes. Team France claimed the bronze at 31.9 seconds off the pace.

Meanwhile, the usually powerful Norwegians had another tough relay race this weekend, as the men finished off the podium in fourth.

We wonder if the mother of team member Martin Johnsrud Sundby will have anything to say about that, considering that she didn’t hold back about her son’s performance in the 15km classic

Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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2024 Tour de France to end with Nice time trial due to Paris Olympics

2024 Tour de France Nice

The 2024 Tour de France will end on the French Riviera instead of the French capital because of the Paris Olympics.

The finish of cycling’s marquee race leaves Paris for the first time since 1905.

Tour organizers said on Thursday the last stage of its 111th race will take place in the Mediterranean resort of Nice on July 21. Five days later, Paris opens the Olympics.

Because of security and logistical reasons, the French capital won’t have its traditional Tour finish on the Champs-Elysees. Parting with tradition of a sprint on the Champs-Elysees, the last stage will be an individual time trial along Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais.

The start of the 2024 race, which will begin for the first time in Italy, was brought forward by one week, a customary change during an Olympic year. The Tour will start on June 29 in Florence.

Nice has hosted the Tour 37 times, including its start twice, in 1981 and in 2020. Two years ago, the start was delayed until Aug. 29 due to lockdowns and travels bans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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