Czech skier Lukas Bauer celebrated his first career victory in front of a home crowd in the 15 kilometres freestyle at a cross country World Cup event in Nove Mesto na Morave on Saturday, while Bente Skari continued her domination of the World Cup women's field.
Bauer crossed the finish line in a time of 34 minutes 54.8 seconds, comfortably ahead of Christian Hoffmann of Austria, who finished second in 35:24.9, and Sweden's defending World Cup champion Per Elofsson, who took third in 35:5.5. Germany's Rene Sommerfeldt, who finished sixth, continues to lead the overall World Cup standings.
Carl Swenson had the top American finish on the day in 32nd place, 1:38 behind Bauer. Andrew Johnson (42nd place, 2:39 back) and Justin Wadsworth (55th place, 2:59 back) were the only other Americans in the field of 64 men. Canada's Sara Renner had the top North American women's result, finishing in 31st place. No American women competed. Although the US Ski Team's expectations may have been higher for today's event, this race does mark the team's first weekend in Europe—only one week after a tough week at the US National Championships.<Men's 15K Results
Bente Skari's new skate victory has some wondering if a sweep is possible for all five events at the World Championships. Bente told Norwegian reports today that she is curently only planning on skiing four World Championship races, but may enter the final 30 km skate event if she feels her body is up for it. Bente covered the 10 km course in 25:11. Italy's Gabriella Paruzzi was second in 25:19, and Estonia's Kristina Smigun finished third in 25:22.
<Women's 10K results
(sources: eurosport.com and www.vg.no)