Cross-country skiing at the 1994 Winter Olympics – Men's 4 × 10 kilometre relay
|Men's 4 × 10 kilometre relay
at the XVII Olympic Winter Games
Pictogram for cross country
|Venue||Birkebeineren Ski Stadium|
|Competitors||56 (14 teams) from 14 nations|
|Cross-country skiing at the 1994 Winter Olympics
|4 x 5 km relay||women|
|4 x 10 km relay||men|
The men's 4 × 10 km relay, a part of the cross-country skiing at the 1994 Winter Olympics, took place on 22 February at Birkebeineren Ski Stadium in Lillehammer, Norway. The race saw Italy beat Norway by 0.4 seconds on the finish line, with Finland finishing third. The three had followed each other closely through the first three rounds, but in the fourth heat, Silvio Fauner and Bjørn Dæhlie managed to break with Jari Isometsä. The event was the most spectated of any in the games, with an estimated 100,000 spectators at the stadium and along the tracks.
The event was the most spectated of any event of the games, with 203,000 people having applied for the 31,000 seats at the stadium. In addition, some 75,000 extra spectators watched from the track-side.
The event was held at Birkebeineren Ski Stadium in Lillehammer, Norway.
After the start at 10:30, Sture Sivertsen of Norway was the fastest and was in lead when leaving the stadium. After a few kilometers, Sture Sivertsen, Norway, Mika Myllylä of Finland, Jan Ottosson of Sweden and Maurilio De Zolt of Italy had broken away from the rest of the teams. Sivertsen was in lead for four kilometers, after which he let Mika Myllylä of Finland pull when the group was approaching the stadium. At half-distance through the stadium, Sivertsen and Myllylä had gained a small gap on the other two. Sivertsen regained the lead in the hill leading from the stadium, and was followed closely by Myllylä. By seven kilometers, de Zolt had fallen slightly behind, while Ottosson stiffened and was not able to keep up with the other three. At the first change, Sivertsen and Myllylä were even, while de Zolt was 12 seconds behind, while Ottosson was 57 seconds behind. About one minute after that, a group of Jeremias Wigger of Switzerland, Torald Rein of Germany, Nikolai Ivanov of Kazakhstan, Luboš Buchta of the Czech Republic and Andrey Kirilov of Russia.
The second stage became a race between Vegard Ulvang of Norway, Harri Kirvesniemi of Finland and Marco Albarello of Italy. Ulvang set off in a fast pace, with Kirvesniemi and Albarello following suit. Part of the way through the lap, Kirvesniemi attempted to pull, but the other two followed suit. Two kilometers before reaching the exchange, Kirvesniemi broke his ski pole, but was able to follow along. In the approach to the stadium, Ulvang looked like he would exchange first, but Albarello cut the corner and was able to exchange just before Ulvang. Behind the first three teams, Alexey Prokurorov of Russia was one and a half minute behind.
Norway's strategy was to pull away with Thomas Alsgaard in the third heat. However, he was not able to, and ended instead dragging Jari Räsänen of Finland and Giorgio Vanzetta of Italy. After six kilometers, Alsgaard attempted to pull away, but the pair behind him would not let him. This caused Alsgaard to stiffen, and he had difficulties following Vanzetta and Räsänen through the rest of the race. Behind the first three teams, Gennadiy Lazutin of Russia was two minutes behind.
The last lap started as a race between Silvio Fauner of Italy, Bjørn Dæhlie of Norway and Jari Isometsä of Finland. After a few kilometers, Dæhlie and Fauner were able create a gap to Isometsä, and the rest of the relay was a duel between the Norwegian and the Italian. For most of the race, Dæhlie was ahead. About two kilometers before the goal, both stopped, wanting the other to pull, and neither wanting to start the sprint. In the ascent towards the final straight stretch, Dæhli lay right in the back of Fauner. 180 meters (590 ft) before the finish line, Dæhli switched tracks, but was not able to keep up with Fauner, who passed 0.4 seconds before Dæhlie. Finland finished third, 1 minutes and 0.6 seconds behind Italy. Germany and Russia had a fight for the fourth place, with Johann Mühlegg of Germany finishing three seconds ahead of Mikhail Botvinov of Russia.
- Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee. "1994 Winter Olympics Report, volume I". Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee. "1994 Winter Olympics Report, volume II". Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee. "1994 Winter Olympics Report, volume III". Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee. "1994 Winter Olympics Report, volume IV". Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- Wallenchinsky, David; Loucky, Jaime (2009). The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-491-4.