Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) finished the season on top in the Grand World Cup rankings on Sunday. He became the first Norwegian skater to take the overall victory since the inauguration of the Grand World Cup in the 2011/12 season, but the Olympic 500m champion again had to bow his head for a Dutch podium sweep in the shortest distance on Sunday.
Lorentzen’s compatriot Sverre Lunde Pederson won the 1500m and the Norwegian men also too gold in the Team Sprint event. Dutchman Simon Schouten finished first in the final Mass Start to conclude the season in Minsk.
Havard Lorentzen (NOR)
Another Dutch sweep in the 500m
Jan Smeekens took one step up on the podium on Sunday. After Saturday’s silver the reigning World Champion took gold in 34.83 on Sunday. His countryman Dai Dai Ntab came second in 34.94 and Saturday’s winner Hein Otterspeer had to settle for third place in 34.97. Lorentzen took another 90 points in fourth place to seize the 500m World Cup with 716 points. Otterspeer came second with 568 points and Ronald Mulder (NED) third with 556 points.
Men 500m Podium: (L-R) Dai Dai Ntab, Jan Smeekens, Hein Otterspeer (NED)
Pedersen surprises World Cup winner Yuskov
Sverre Lunde Pedersen could not keep Denis Yuskov (RUS) off the 1500m World Cup, but the Norwegian did surprise the Russian, who had won all four 1500m World Cup races he started this season. Pedersen won in 1:45.47, 0.17 ahead of Yuskov. It was Pedersen’s second 1500m World Cup win of the season, but he hadn’t beaten Yuskov the first time because the Russian had withdrawn from the race in Stavanger. Pedersen’s compatriot and fresh Junior World Champion Allan Dahl Johansson took the bronze in 1:45.99. Yuskov took home the World Cup with 520 points, versus 385 for Pedersen and Dutchman Thomas Krol, who came fourth in 1:46.38, took third place with 320 points.
Sverre Lunde Pedersen (NOR)
Schouten takes first win, Swings carries home the Cup
In the Mass Start Simon Schouten took his first career World Cup win. The Dutchman left fellow escape Shota Nakamura (JPN) with five laps to go. The Japanese skater managed to stay ahead of the pack too and finished second. Danila Semerikov (RUS) took bronze, while Olympic silver medalist Bart Swings (BEL) carried home the World Cup, after finishing fourth. He overhauled absent Olympic Champion Seung-Hoon Lee (KOR) in the classification.
In the Bjørn Magnussen, Henrik Rukke and Håvard Lorentzen (NOR) finished in 1:20.89 to beat Poland (1:22.11) and Russia (1:22.54). Norway thus conquered the World Cup, with Russia coming second and absent Canada ending up third.