The relay competitions at La Clusaz was won in the ladies race by the German team with Stefanie Boehler, Viola Bauer, Claudia Kuenzel-Nystad and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle an in the men’s competition by the Russian Team (Vassili Rotchev, Nikolai Pankratov, Alexander Legkov and Evgenij Dementiev).
Although none from the German skiers were the fastest on an individual leg (5km for each), the quartet was always in control and led Sweden (with Lina Andersson, Sara Lindborg, Charlotte Kalla and Britta Norgren) home by 12.7 seconds.
The Czech Republic (Helena Erbenova, Kamilla Rajdlova, Ivana Janeckova, Katerina Neumannova) took third thanks to a speedy final leg from Katerina Neumannova, who gained over 40 seconds on Germany and overhauled three opponents.
The Finns were fighting for the victory but Virpi Kuitunen who raced on the last position of the team, had some problems with her back which she had already at the end of the last season.
The strong Russian team managed the victory in the 4x10km relay. In a race that took nearly two hours, the Russians eased home clearly ahead 1:24 minute of Norway (Tor Arne Hetland, Eldar Roenning, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Petter Northug), who edged out Germany (Benjamin Seifert, Axel Teichmann, RenÃ© Sommerfeldt, Tobias Angerer) for second in a thrilling finish. The Germans were 1:25 minute behind the winning team.
Canadians Devon Kershaw and George Grey raced on an unofficial team with a Japanese skier and a Norwegian skier. They finished 14th.
Number of participants/ participating nations: 15 teams (ladies), 20 team (men)
Weather: cloudy, – 4 Â°C
Snow Conditions: hard packed
Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (GER): â€œI recognizes that Virpi started very strong and I didn’t try to follow. I’m very happy that I feel now better than at the beginning of this season. I’m on the way to the top and hope that I could confirm that at the Tour de Ski.â€
Charlotte Kalla (SWE): â€œI had very good skis today especially in the downhill I was faster than the others. I’m very satisfied about my shape in the last month and I hope I could continue like this. For the season, my biggest goal is to be on the top at the Junior-World Championships in Tarvisio (ITA). I’m the last season a junior, so I would try to manage a victory.â€
Katerina Neumannova (CZE): â€œWe are all together very happy. It was a big gap between the first teams and me when I was going on the course and I didn’t expect to be on the podium. It is the first time that the ladies team of Czech Republic could manage a podium place in a relay.â€œ
Vassili Rotchev (RUS): â€œIt was a perfect weekend for us. Yesterday two podium places and today the victory in the relay. In the classical part I think we had the best skis. Now we are going back home to Russia and we will have there four races until Christmas.â€
Eldar Roenning (NOR): â€œI took this morning the wrong skis and lose a lot of time in my race. But I’m happy that Petter could manage the second place for us. He is back in shape. Now I go home and relax a little bit before we will travel on 26th to the direction of Nove Mesto.â€
Tobias Angerer (GER): â€œI started on the seventh position and try to fight for the podium but maybe I lose there to much power. At the end I was not strong enough to follow Petter Northug. But we are also satisfied about our podium place.”