Sweden made it two for two today when the team of Thobias Fredrikkson and Peter Larsson won the World Cup Team Sprint in Dusseldorf. The men matched the performance of Charlotte Kalla and Britta Norgren who took the top spot in the women’s race for Sweden. Larson was a last minute substitution for Bjoern Lind who sat out with an illness. Sweden 2 completed an excellent opening weekend for Sweden, finishing third. The Norweigan duo of Johan Kjoelstad and veteran Tor Arne Hetland took the second spot, a half a second behind the winners.
Americans Torin Koos and Andy Newell advanced to the finals and were skiing in the front pack when a crash in front of Koos dropped the duo back. “Andy and Torin were right in it until midway through the middle lap when someone went down in front of Torin,” U.S. Sprint Coach Chris Grover said, “and he had no chance to react. Torin got up immediately, but everybody had kept rolling, so he had 30 or 40 meters to close…at that point, they couldn't catch up.
USA finished 9th on the day in a photo finish with Czech Republic 2, almost matching the best Team Sprint result ever for the US — an 8th in 2000. Newell and Koos had good words for the return of former Swedish World Cup racer Larry Poromaa as waxing head technician. “They had unbelievably good skis. Andy said he'd never felt as good in a team sprint before,” according to Grover.
Italy edged Czech Republic 1 in another photo finish to take fourth. After winning the Men’s individual sprint yesterday, the host nation had to settle for 7th. The top German team that included yesterday’s surprise victor, Josef Wenzl, did not advance from the semi-finals, finishing 19th.
Said victor Peter Larson, “It’s amazing — I love Dusseldorf, the tracks and the great atmosphere! It was a tough race today with so many teams in the semi finals but Thobias and I handled it well. I’m happy to celebrate my sixth victory here. In regards to the new lucky loser rule, I must say I don’t like it much. Admittedly the races are getting faster but it could be that one semifinal has different snow and weather conditions than the other heat.â€
Canada had two team competing. Canada 1 (Sean Crooks and Phil Widmer) finished 17th and Canada 2 (Stefan Kuhn and David Nighbor), 31st. Neither team advanced out of the semifinals.
Men's Team Sprint:
1. Sweden 1
2. Norway 2
3. Sweden 2
4. Italy 1
5. Czech Republic 1
6. Norway 1
7. Germany 2
8. France 1
10.Czech Republic 2
– 46 women representing 14 nations, and 64 men representing 17 nations participated.
– 200,000 spectators attended
Contributing Sources: FIS, USSA