Andy Newell finished 4th in the field of 82, qualifying with the 7th fastest time, advancing to the A-Final. Norweigan Johan Kjoelstad took the victory ahead of Swedes Emil Joensson and Mats Larsson. Kjoelstad had his strongest race of the season after an 11th in the freestyle sprint in Dusseldorf and a disappointing 72nd in the 15km freestyle last weekend. His only other World Cup victory came in 2005 in the Team Sprint at Dusseldorf.
Kikkan Randall made her first World Cup start of the season, qualifying in 12th and finishing 16th after the heats. Slovenian classic star Petra Majdic won the event, defeating top qualifier Astrid Jacobsen (NOR) and Alena Prochazkova (SVK). This was Majdic's fourth World Cup victory of her career. She was 11th last week in the 10km freestyle in Beitostoelen, and 36th in the individual sprint in Dusseldorf.
Newell, disappointed after his 19th place finish at the season opening World Cup in Dusseldorf, was clearly comfortable being back on classic skis. Teammate Torin Koos also had a strong day qualifying in 19th and finishing 22nd – this after a 42nd in Dusseldorf.
The Canadian contingent did not have as much success. Devon Kershaw led the Canadian men's team with a 38th. He was followed by Sean Crooks (48), and Drew Goldsack (61). Olympic Sprint Champion Chandra Crawford was unable to qualify, finishing 40th in the 65 person field.
The US had two other skiers in the race – 2006/2007 SuperTour Champion Lars Flora finished 59th and USST's Chris Cook back in 72nd.
– Marit Bjoergen (NOR), who has been dominating thus far finished 8th.
– 7 different nations were represented in the women's top 10, 5 in the men's.
– The World Cup continues tomorrow with a 10/15km classic
Contributing Source: FIS
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