Kuitunen and Northug won in Lahti
Virpi Kuitunen of Finland won the women’s freestyle World Cup sprint in Lahti on Saturday ahead of teammate Liisa Riitta Roponen. Anna Dahlberg (SWE) was third. Kikkan Randall, USA was 7. Chandra Crawford, Canada was 28.
Petter Northug of Norway won the men’s sprint ahead of teammates Jens Arne Svartedal and Eldar Ronning. Top North American was Andy Newell in 14, place while Torin Koos was 21.
Kuitunen finished the 1.25 km course first in the qualification as well as in the final heat and won her 6th World Cup race this season. The second place finisher was Kuitunen’s team mate Riitta Liisa Roponen followed by Anna Dahlberg from Sweden. Also in the final were Petra Majdic from Slovenia (4th place), the Italian Arianna Follis (5th place) and in sixth place Katerina Neumannova (CZE).
For Roponen it was the first podium place in a sprint race and the third ever in her career. The 30-year-old Dahlberg could celebrate today’s third place as her first podium place this season.
In the overall World Cup Virpi Kuitunen is leading ahead of Marit Bjoergen with 509 points and with today’s victory she has already won the overall World Cup. Third place overall is Katerina Neumannova.
Kuitunen is also in the lead of the Sprint cup with 352 points. Second place is Natalia Matveeva from Russia with 271 points and Petra Majdic with 205 points.
In the men’s race Petter Northug won on the 1.4 km course in the Lahti Ski Stadium. This was his second World Cup victory. Second place finisher was his team mate Jens Arne Svartedal and Eldar Roenning made the Norwegian triple victory complete. In final skied also Yuichi Onda (JPA, 4th place), Johan Kjoelstad (NOR, 5th place) and Dusan Kozisek (CZE).