RacingWorld CupNorway Dominates World Cup Relay in Beitostolen

FasterSkier FasterSkierNovember 25, 2007

In the men's 4x10km relay it was all Norway with Norway II edging Norway I in the final sprint. Tor Arne Hetland edged Tord Asle Gjerdalen by .4 seconds in the final stretch. Norway I led the entire race until the final leg, building a 12 second lead at the second hand-off. But Tore Ruud Hofstad was able to close the gap and bringing Norway II even heading into the anchor leg.

Russia I finished third, 11 seconds back. A dominating third leg by Alexander Legkov closed a 30 second gap on the leaders, putting Russia in position for the win. But Eugeni Demntiev was unable to keep pace with the two Norweigans.

Italy took fourth place behind Giorgio DiCenta's strong finish, ahead of Germany.

In the women's race, Marit Bjoergen skied away from the field in the final 5km loop to give Norway I a nine second victory over Germany I. Russia I led the first two legs before a tough lap by Evgenia Medvedeva dropped them 40 seconds behind. The Russians eventually settled for a distant fourth, 30 seconds behind third place Finland, whose chances were also foiled by a weak lap. The Finns battled to make up a 40 second deficit after the first lap. They did so and even moved into first heading into the last leg. But Bjoergen was too strong in the end. Said Finn Riikka Sarasoja, “this was just like last year, and as long as we are on the podium, we are satisfied. And the time-gap between the three best is not too big. We are looking forward to the next races.”

Norway's opening skier, Astrid Jacobsen, was grateful for Bjoergen's powerful finish. “I was a little bit tired today but I tried to push hard. I was a little bit unlucky because I had a fall on one of the downhills. I’m very happy that we managed the victory — thank you Marit for your very strong finish!”

Women's 4x5km Relay Results
Men's 4x10km Relay Results

Notes:

– The Finnish women's team was missing last year's overall World Cup winner Virpi Kuitunen, who did not race in the 10km event either.

– No North American teams raced

– Norway III placed 6th and Norway IV 8th, giving Norway four teams in the top eight in the men's event.

– Sweden did not have a strong day, with the men finishing 7th and the women 8th.

The World Cup continues on December 1st in Kuusamo, Finland with a classic individual sprint and a 10/15km classic individual start.

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