Marit Bjorgen of Norway competes to take the first place during the women's 10km free style competition at the FIS Cross Country skiing World Cup event in Ulricehamn, Sweden, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (Adam Ihs/TT News Agency via AP)
AP Photo
January 22, 2017

ULRICEHAMN, Sweden (AP) Norway cruised to victory in men's and women's relays at the cross-country skiing World Cup on Sunday in a dominant showing ahead of next month's world championships.

A powerful second leg in the women's 4x5-kilometer race from individual World Cup standings leader Heidi Weng gave Norway a lead at the halfway point of almost 17 seconds, and the Norwegians never again looked under threat.

Fresh off winning an individual freestyle 10k Saturday, Marit Bjoergen's measured final leg completed Norway's victory in a time of 50 minutes 33.3 seconds. That was 8.8 seconds ahead of second-placed Germany, which achieved its best World Cup women's relay result since 2012.

Sweden was 9 seconds off the pace for third, beating the United States to the final podium spot by one-fifth of a second.

The men's 4x7.5k was much closer, with Norway winning in 1 hour 6 minutes 47.5 seconds, a half-second ahead of Sweden, which beat Canada to second in a photo finish.

Norway has not missed the podium in a men's relay since coming fourth at the Sochi Olympics almost three years ago. Canada's podium finish continued a good run of form for Alex Harvey, who won the men's 15k freestyle on Saturday and a team sprint with Canada last week.

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