a little surprising to see klaebo bested by brandsdal after the huge gaps he inflicted on everyone in each of his heats..
the only non-norge in the final, ustiougov used a smart tactic and it gave him another podium. objectively, i don't think he could expect anything better today. not the right course, not his fave skating style, too many super motivated norwegians. i was relieved seeing petter outside the podium.
the ladies final could not have ended better - well, nothing against parma, but ingermarsdotter would have completed a nice 100% swedish podium. stina ruled and still rules. it was almost too easy after seeing her struggles in lahti.
once again, ustiougov continued his reputation of the norwegian upsetter.
Brandsdal had a point to prove after being left out of the sprint team in Lahti. Though to be fair, the other 5 guys that races at World's deserved it more, as Brandsdal didn't ski well enough nor did he win at the nationals, where that was essentially his last chance to qualify. This Drammen course really suits him well with the gradual climb to the finish, where he can do damage with either diagonal striding or double poling, but he blasted past Klaebo fairly impressively.
These podium finishes are just bonuses for Ustiugov. This is the 7th straight race (world championships + world cups) in which he has taken part in and has gotten on the podium. Impressive stuff. The only bummer is that he may not be going to Canada for the world cup finals in a couple weeks. He moved up in the sprint rankings, is now in third and within striking distance of the lead. It would be a major downer if he didn't travel to Quebec and go for the overall sprint win. There is a skate sprint on the first day of the mini tour. He is three hundred points behind Sundbyi in the overall, so that's tough. He skied tactically well today and like you said, maximized his result.
Nilsson apparently was almost disqualified for double poling in a double pole free zone. The jury met with her and decided not to DQ her.