World CupNorwegian Men and Russian Women Win Val Di Fiemme Relays

FasterSkierDecember 12, 2004

Val di Fiemme – An unforgettable male relay has took place at the World Cup in Val di Fiemme. At the photo-finish Norway won thanks to an anchor leg by Tore Ruud Hofstad who competed with Christian Zorzi for a really difficult victory. The photo-finish gap was only  6/100 of a second for first place, and 2/100 between Rousselet (FRA) and Dementiev (RUS) to assign the 3rd place on the podium. It was a thrilling race from the first to the last leg: Germany was leading the competition at the beginning, but the Norwegians got the first position with Svartedal during the second lap.

The first Norwegian athlete gained terrain on Russia and Di Centa, who was pushing really hard, exchanging with Valbusa in 3rd place. Norway was still leading the 2nd leg with Hjelmeset, while the Russian Ivanov was losing 2” and Schluetter was 3rd before the French Vittoz, coming from the 10th position. The 1st skating leg was dominated by the German Teichmann, leaving behind him Estil and Jonnier, but Pietro Piller Cottrer had the best leg time, reaching the 4th position.

Men's podium – Norway, Italy, France – from

Three US skiers, Kris Freeman, Carl Swenson and Andrew Johnson combined with Swedish skier Rikard Haegglund to finish 9th out of 18 teams. This finish does not do justice to their individual efforts however. Kris was 7th place after the first classic leg, 30 seconds back. The teams chances to stay near the front were dashed by the Swede who lost more than a minute to the leaders. On the third leg, Andrew Johnson stayed even with the leaders and posted the fifth fastest time on that leg. A very impressive day for Johnson. Carl Swenson lost 30 seconds on the anchor leg with the 7th fastest time. But keep in mind that the skiers up front were all pushing each other, gunning for the win, while Carl only had a Swiss skier to ski with.

On the podium after the official prize giving ceremony the athletes showed their enthusiasm: Zorzi’s supporters arrived with a sleigh full of “panettone” and sparkling wine. Piller Cottrer, the Italian athlete of the 3rd leg declared: “we raced with our heart!”. It was a big success also for the Norwegian team, after the 5th position in Gallivare. Thrilling moments in deciding the 3rd place: Rousselet crossed the finish line sliding on his back.

Earlier in the morning the women relay had taken place and the Russian team had won before Germany and Norway.

Women's podium: Russia, Germany, Norway – from


Relay 4×5 Women:

1) Russia 51.23.8;
2) Germany +1,4;
3) Norway +17,2;
4) Finland +17,7;
5) Russia II +1.23.4;
6) France +2.04.4;
7) Italy +2.06.8;
8) Kazakhstan +2.18.3;
9) Japan +2.21.8;
10) Sweden +2.48.4.

Relay 4×10 Men:

1) Norway 1.34.07;
2) Italy + 0.0;
3) France +0.5;
4) Russia +0,5;
5) Germany +0,6;
6) Italy II +1.48.5;
7) Austria +1.50.1;
8) Switzerland +2.08.4;
9) USA/SWE +2.08.5;
10) Sweden +2.26.9.


 Source: Mario Facchini –


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