Vincent Vittoz (FRA) and Toni Livers (SUI) took today together the victory of the todays 15 km Individual start in the free technique.
The 23-year old Livers, whose previous best World Cup performance was 14th last season in the Pursuit races in Oberstdorf cross the finish line exactly with the same time than the French Vincent Vittoz who could manage this sixth World Cup victory.
It is the first time in a men’s World Cup race that two athletes could won the race with the same time. It was only happened before in women’s race, like in November 2002 when Evi Sachenbacher (GER) and Kristina Smigun (EST) took the victories.
The Austrian Christian Hoffmann was third, 11,5 seconds behind. This was the first podium finish for him after 14 month.
In the overall World Cup ranking, Tobias Angerer, who didn’t compete in the today’s race, is still in the lead with 762 points ahead of Alexander Legkov (RUS, 573 points; today: 55th place). On third place is Tor Arne Hetland (NOR) with 459 points.
The Distance World Cup is leading now by Vincent Vittoz (264 points) who overtook the red bib from Alexander Legkov (253 points) and on third position is the World Cup leader Tobias Angerer with 252 points.
Number of participants/ participating nations: 71 men/ 19 nations
Weather: sunny, -2Â°C
Snow Conditions: hard packed
Course: Height difference: 85m; Maximum climb: 41m; Total climb: 564m, Length of laps: 5035m;
Toni Livers (SUI): â€œIt was unbelievable. For me that was the perfect day and that in my â€œhome raceâ€. Also the team was in the today’s race very strong. I now living in Davos and train with a good training group, young and older athletes together. In Sapporo, my second World Championships, I try to reach also a top ten place.â€
Vincent Vittoz (FRA): â€œWhen I crossed the finish line I only realized that I’m the first. That I have the same time and place like Toni Livers I realized some minutes later, when the stadium speaker announced it. It is great that we are both on the first place and take the victory. In Sapporo I will compete at the 15 km in free technique, the Pursuit and also in the relay.â€
Christian Hoffmann (AUT): â€œI very time started really slowly, so today it was already fast my starting time. I was wondering because I felt a little bit tired. After the first 5 km I getting better and better into my rhythm and finally I reached the podium. I’m happy about my first podium place in this season. When everything works well I will try to compete until Vancouver 2010.â€
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