FIS World Cup Cross-Country in Sapporo (Japan), Team Sprint F, 18.03.2006
Germany I with Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Claudia Kuenzel won the women Team Sprint competition in Sapporo (JPN) clearly 14,4 seconds ahead of Finland II with Riitta Liisa Lassila and Pirjo Manninen. The third place took team Sweden II with 22-year-old Britta Norgren and Anna Karin Stroemstedt, 14,5 seconds behind the winning team. Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle attacked at her last lap on the last uphill and the other athletes had problems to follow her. Pirjo Manninen, the sister of overall World Cup winner in Nordic Combined Hannu Manninen, had a strong finish second, just before Anna Karin Stroemstedt.
For Manninen it was the first podium place in this year and totally her 6th podium place in her career. For her team-mate Riitta-Liisa Lassila and the both Swedes Britta Norgren and Anna Karin Stroemstedt it were the first podium place in a World Cup competition.
The men Team Sprint was won by Italy with 27-year-old Loris Frasnelli and Cristian Zorzi in a photofinish against Team Norway I with Johan Kjoelstad and Eldar Roenning. Team Germany I with the overall World Cup winner Tobias Angerer and Axel Teichmann finished third, 3,4 seconds behind the winners from Italy. On the last downhill the Swede Peter Larsson felt down and lost his clear leading position, he finished than only on the 10th place.
For Loris Frasnelli it was the first podium place in his World Cup career. In the Nation Cup the Norwegians domintated all, the women, men and overall Nation Cup.
Weather: partly cloudy, 6Â°C
Snow Conditions: soft
Quotes of the top three athletes:
Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, GER: “It was a tough race, especially because of the soft snow conditions. It was brave to started the attack and went into the lead at the last uphill in my last lap, but I felt strong enough to do this. For me the season could be continue, I'm in a good shape at the moment. Next weekend I will start at the national championships in Balderschwang and than I will have a military training course.”
Claudia Kuenzel, GER: “I was easy to stay in the lead with such a comfortable advance. But I'm very satisfied about our race today. Tomorrow I will start again and than I'm happy that the World Cup season is over.”
Pirjo Manninen, FIN: “It was a great race for me and Riitta Liisa. We are so happy that we could finished at the second place just before the Swedish girls. I was fighting very hard.”
Britta Norgren, SWE: “It's my first podium place in my career, also for my team-mate Anna Karin Stroemstedt. We are both very satisfied that we had the power to finish on a podium place. For tomorrow my goal is it to be under the top ten in the finish. Afterwards I will compete in LuleÃ¥ at the national championships.”
Loris Frasnelli, ITA: “I'm very happy about this victory, it's my first victory in a World Cup race ever. After such a long season, skiing well is not so easy, but Cristian and I managed it. The snow was soft but everybody had the same conditions and so it was an fair competition. I feel sorry for Peter Larsson that he felt down during the last lap, but I'm sure that Zorro (Cristian Zorzi) could also managed the victory without that hapening.”
Johan Kjoelstad, NOR: “Eldar and I we done a go job today. It was very tight in the today's race and of course this soft snow conditions made it not easy to ski very fast but it is for all the same. I'm very satisfied about this podium place today. Now, for me the season is over, I will try to relax a little bit and on the first of May our training for the next season will already start.”
Tobias Angerer, GER: “At the moment I have problems to motivate me for the competitions, that was also a problem for the today's race. But at least I'm happy that we could managed a podium place. Tomorrow I will compete again and in the evening we will celebrate my overall and distance World Cup victory in my team.”
Claudia Kuenzel. Photo copyright Marco Felgenhauer, www.xc-ski.de