Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country at Cogne (ITA) on December 13th, 2007
Virpi Kuitunen from Finland and the Norwegian Eldar Roenning take the victory in Cogne in the individual start races over 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men).
For Kuitunen it was the sixth World Cup victory and her second in this season after her success in the last World Cup race over the same distance and the same technique in Kuusamo (FIN). The second place took Petra Majdic (SLO) clearly 32.1 seconds behind Kuitunen. Another athlete from Finland, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen finished third, 50.2 seconds behind the winner.
In the overall World Cup ranking, Virpi Kuitunen is now 8 points ahead of Marit Bjoergen (NOR), who finished today on the 17th place. In the Distance World Cup, Kuitunen is also in the lead, 25 points ahead of Katerina Neumannova (CZE), the fifth of the today’s race.
Chandra Crawford was the only North American woman to race, finishing 64th.
Eldar Roenning, the winner of the men’s race, was getting stronger and stronger during his race. He was only fourth fastest at the intermediate time point at 3,2 km but at the end he finished 3,6 seconds ahead of this team-mate Tor Arne Hetland. The third place took Russian Olympic Champion Evgenji Dementiev 5,4 seconds behind the winner.
George Grey of Canada finished 25th, only 41 seconds off the pace, while teammate Devon Kershaw was 67th.
For Roenning, who is now clearly in the lead of the overall World Cup with 96 points ahead of Hetland, it was the third victory in this season and totally the fourth in his career. The Distance World Cup is also leading by Roenning (200 points) ahead of Hetland (116 points) and the French Vincent Vittoz.
Number of participants/ participating nations: 70 ladies, 89 men / 22 nations
Weather: sunny, -3Â°C
Snow Conditions: packed powder
Virpi Kuitunen (FIN): â€œâ€It was very good for me and I was surprised about my today’s race. I’ve been sick two days and had stomach problems. Yesterday, I was thinking I could start but I’m happy that I started.â€
Petra Majdic (SLO): â€My today’s races was perfect! Absolutely perfect! I had a hard training in attitude, and I didn’t know how was my shape.. but.. super!â€
Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN): â€œIn the beginning the skiing was huge, but I was relaxed. It was my best skiing. I’ll be waiting for this kind of shape, now it came, so I’m very happy. It was like a sort of Christmas present for me!â€
Eldar Roenning (NOR): â€œI am very happy. I started a bit slower, compared to others skiers, but then I improved my rhythm and I succeeded.
In this season I gained t three victories, this is thanks to the team’s job that we have done in these last years. Maybe a reason why I’m so strong this winter could be that we train since April with a track and field trainer, Vebjoern Rodal.â€
Tor Arne Hetland (NOR):â€ Well, yesterday I said to rank in the top 5, and I did it. So, it’s ok. Our team is working very well and I hope that our skiers will take part to the World Championship next year. Training was good, even if we had a lack of snow.â€
Evgenij Dementiev (RUS): â€œThis race was very important for me. I hope to be in a good shape and to reach good results in the World Cups, during the Tour and in Sapporo.â€
For complete results please visit http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=CC&event_id=22450