The 20-year-old Evgenia Shapovalova (RUS) and the Norwegian sprinter Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) took the victory in today’s classic style Sprint in Changchun (CHN), where today for the second time in the history of the FIS World Cup Cross-Country a World Cup competition took place.
Evgenia Shapovalova took her first World Cup victory ever under bright sunny skies in Changchun (CHN), ahead of her team-mate Natalia Matveeva and the Norwegian Guro Strom Solli. On fourth place finished Nicole Fessel (GER). Also in the final from Sweden: Lina Andersson (5th place) and Anna Dahlberg (6th place).
Shapovalova won with this victory the second podium place in this season after her success in the Sprint of OtepÃ¤Ã¤. For Matveeva it is the second podium place in this season and the third in her career. Guro Strom Solli could manage today her second podium in her career but she is not qualified in the Norwegian team for the World Championships in Sapporo, which are starting in the next week.
In the World Cup ranking, Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) is still leading with 1197 points ahead of Marit Bjoergen (NOR) with 756 points and the Czech Katerina Neumannova with 602 points. None of them competed in this Sprint race in China.
In the Sprint World Cup standing, the new leader is Natalia Matveeva with 263 points ahead of Virpi Kuitunen (FIN, 252 points) and Evgenia Shapovalova (198 points).
In the men’s race the Norwegian could celebrate a triple victory and even the top five were all Norwegians. Ola Vigen Hattestad finished first, narrowly ahead of Boerre Naess and the ski veteran Tor Arne Hetland. The fourth place was taken by Trond Iversen, Simen Oestensen Sweden finished fifth, and also in the A-Final was Petter Myhlback from Sweden.
For Hattestad, who is not qualified in the Norwegian team for the World Championships, it was the first World Cup victory ever and his third podium place. This team-mate Naess could celebrate his first podium in this season and the fifth total in his career.
In the overall World Cup standing, Tobias Angerer from Germany is in the lead with 762 points ahead of Alexander Legkov (RUS, 573 points) — both didn’t compete today – and Tor Arne Hetland (508 points).
In the Sprint ranking, there is a triple lead of Norway with Jens-Arne Svartedal (226 points) in the lead, who finished today on 21st place followed by Tor Arne Hetland (207 points) and Trond Iversen (171 points).
Number of participants/ participating nations: 35 ladies, 47 men/ 17 nations
Weather: sunny, – 10Â°C
Snow Conditions: hard packed
Course ladies: Height difference: 27m; Maximum climb: 17m; Total climb: 43m, Length of laps: 1153m;
Course men: Height difference: 27m; Maximum climb: 17m; Total climb: 50m, Length of laps: 1300m;
Evgenia Shapovalova (RUS): â€œI’m very about my today’s race — it is nice to win! After my third place in OtepÃ¤Ã¤ in January it is again an increase, that is great and the World Championships can come. I’m prepared! To have a double victory with Natalia it is amazing, we are both 20 years old and now we are on the top.
Natalia Matveeva (RUS): â€œIt is amazing. My today’s race was good even if we had some problems with the arrival. Also the track here is in a good shape. Now I will go to Sapporo and show there my strength in the classical sprint.
Guro Storm Solli: â€œI’m so happy about my podium place. It is a pity that I’m not nominated for the World Championships but I was not good enough before. I normally get every time better in shape at the end of the season. So now I’m looking forward to the World Cups after the World Championships.
Ola Vigen Hattestad: â€œIt is great to be on the top. I was very disappointed that I was not nominated for the World Championships in Sapporo but now I showed my strength here. We had a long trip to Changchun because the airport was closed and we had to wait in Bejing until the airport opened. So we arrived yesterday, later on the day but it was enough time to prepare us for the race — as you could see on the results;-)) In the qualification round and the quarterfinal I used ski’s without a grip but in the semi final and the final I used waxed ski’s. I felt that I have not enough power to push also the whole semi final and final.
Boerre Naess: â€œMy race was also great — I’m happy to realize the podium. This evening we will enjoy our good results and than I will fly back to Norway and will compete in the Skandinavian Cup. It was a short trip to China but I was an experience which I would not like to miss.â€