Johaug beats Bjoergen to win women's 15K skiathlon

Associated Press
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Norway's Therese Johaug, middle, on the winner's stand after the women's FIS World Cup cross country skiathlon race in Falun, Sweden, Saturday, March 15, 2014. To the left runner up Norway's Marit Bjorden and to the right second runner up Finland's Kerttu Niskanen. (AP photo / Anders Wiklund) SWEDEN OUT

FALUN, Sweden (AP) — Therese Johaug took a big step toward securing the overall cross-country World Cup title by beating Norwegian teammate Marit Bjoergen to win a 15-kilometer skiathlon race Saturday.

Johaug finished in 41 minutes, 8.9 seconds to beat Bjoergen by 33.6 seconds, with Finland's Kerttu Niskanen finishing third.

The result means Johaug will start 15 seconds ahead of Bjoergen in Sunday's 10-kilometer pursuit, the final event of the three-race World Cup finals, which will decide the overall winner. Johaug leads the overall standings with 1,345 points, seven points ahead of Bjoergen in a two-way fight for the title. Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, another Norwegian, is third with 974.

In the men's 30K race, Alex Harvey of Canada narrowly held off Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby, who has already clinched the overall title.

Harvey covered the distance in 1 hour, 18 minutes, 7.6 seconds, beating Sundby by just 0.12 seconds in a sprint to the line. Alexander Legkov of Russia was third, 1.76 seconds behind.