The Russian teams had skied well all week, so it was no surprise when both Russian teams won the relay races today in Soffeltea, Sweden. The Russian women's team trailed Sweden after the first leg, and was in fourth after the second leg classic leg, but the two Russian skaters had the two fastest female times of day to put the race away. In second was Finland (29 seconds back) followed by Sweden (45 seconds out).
The American team of Lindsey Weier, Alison Crocker, Katie Ronsee and Kristina Trygstaad-Saari was 10th. Weier had the team in 6th after her scramble leg. Crocker and Ronsee both struggled a bit against their World Class competitors, as the team dropped to 11th. Trygstad-Saari skied a solid anchor leg to move up to 10th and even challenge the Italians for 9th.
The Canadian women's team was 12th.
The Russian men left no doubt about their victory. They were tied for the lead after the first leg and never looked back, winning by a huge 2:11 margin. Most of that margin came in the first skate leg where Evgueri Dementiev crushed the field, skiing a minute and a half faster than anyone else on his leg. Norway was second, Germany was third.
The American team of Andrew Newell, Ryan Foster, Brent Lowen, and Leif Zimmerman finished 8th, making it into the top half of the field. Newell got them off to a solid start with an 8th place after his first leg. Like the women, legs 2 & 3 (Foster and Lowen) struggled as the team dropped all the way to 13th. But a heroic anchor leg by Zimmerman salvaged a good team finish. Zimmerman moved all the way from 13th up to 8th. Zimmerman's skate time was the third fastest of the day, only 0.6 seconds slower than World Junior Champion (30K Skate) Chris Jespersen of Norway.
The Canadian men's team was 16th.
There were 13 women's teams and 16 men's teams racing.