The team of Evi Sachenbacher Stehle and Claudia Kuenzel outpaced the rest of the world today in the second-to-last World Cup race of the year, a 6x1km freestyle team sprint held in Sapporo, Japan.
Claudia Kuenzel. Photo copyright Marco Felgenhauer, xc-ski.de
The German duo finished an impressive 14.4 seconds clear of second-placed Finland (Riitta Liisa Lasilla and Pirjo Manninen) who just barely beat out a surprisingly strong effort from Sweden II (Britta Norgren and Anna Karin Stroemstedt) by one-tenth of a second. Sweden II not only beat out their favored teammates (10th-placed Sweden I with Emelie Oehrstig and Charlotte Kalla) but also managed to hold off the Russian team of Olga Rotcheva and Julija Tchepalova, who finished fourth.
Sara Renner. Photo by Karl Saidla.
Canadian racers Sara Renner and Chandra Crawford teamed up to finish 9th, with Beckie Scott sitting out today's race presumably to rest up for one last all-out effort in tomorrow's 2×7.5km pursuit–her last chance to try and overtake the overall World Cup points lead from Norway's Marit Bjoergen.
Results from today's Team Sprint: http://www.fis-ski.com/pdf/2006/CC/2518/2006CC2518RL.pdf