The World Cup continued in Davos on Sunday with the women's 4X5K relay and the men's 4X10K relay. Norway won the women's race, finishing 4.4 seconds ahead of Germany. The Russian team finished third, with Finland missing the podium by .2 seconds. Kristen Muerer Stemland, Therese Johaug, Kristin Stoermer Steira, and Vibeke Skofterud raced for Norway today, notably without Marit Bjoergen; Norway also won the women's relay last month in Beitostoelen.
The men's side was tight: 8 teams finished within 7 seconds of one another. 10 teams came into the final turn together, but Russia and Germany got tangled up. The Czech Republic and Italy crossed the line with the same time; the photo finished determined that Martin Koukal (CZE) edged out Cristian Zorzi (ITA). Marcus Hellner of Sweden crossed the finish line half a second later. The other teams in the lead pack were Norway II, Norway I, France, Kazakhstan, and Finland.
After the race, Koukal told FIS: “It mean a lot for the Czech team. We were many times really close but we often had bad luck and never made it, especially in the Olympics. It's a great day for Czech skiing. The finish was very tight, and I saw Zorzi coming up beside me, but he never moved forward, so the last few meters, I concentrated on pushing my foot tip forward across the finish line.”
Piller Cottrer (ITA) noted, “The race was a mess. We were almost 10 teams on the field … and before the finish line there were so many athletes. That is not exactly the kind of race that I like since there is too much tactics and only full speed at the end of the race. But we did a good job, and this was the first podium for us this season.”
The US finished 18th in Davos in their first relay team of this world cup season. Canada finished 16th.
Top 4 women's teams:
NORWAY: Kristen Muerer Stemland, Therese Johaug, Kristin Stoermer Steira, Vibeke Skofterud. 53:13.0
GERMANY: Manuela Henkel, Katrin Zeller, Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Stefanie BÃ¶hler. 53:17.4
RUSSIA: Larisa Kurkina, Olga Rotcheva, Ioulia Tchekaleva, Natalia Korosteleva. 53:25.6
FINLAND: Pirjo Muranen, Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Virpi Kuitunen, Riitta-Liisa Roponen. 53:25.8
Top 8 men's finishes, all inside of 7 seconds:
CZECH REPUBLIC: Martin Jaks, Lukas Bauer, Milan Sperl, Martin Koukal. 1:35:40.6
ITALY I: Giorgio di Centa, Valerio Checchi, Pietro Piller Cottrer, Cristian Zorzi. 1:35:40.6
SWEDEN: Mats Larsson, Johan Olsson, Anders Soedergren, Marcus Hellner. 1:35:41.4
NORWAY II: Simen Oestensen, Jens Arne Svartedal, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Tord Asle Gjerdalen. 1:35:42.5
NORWAY I: Eldar Roenning, Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset, Petter Northug, Tor Arne Hetland. 1:35:42.7
FRANCE: Jean Marc Gaillard, Vincent Vittoz, Emmanuel Jonnier, Alexandre Rousselet. 1:35:43.1
KAZAKHSTAN: Sergey Cherepanov, Alexey Poltaranin, Maxim Odnodvortsev, Nikolay Chebotko. 1:35:44.0
FINLAND: Ville Nousiainen, Sami Jauhojaervi, Juha Lallukka, Matti Heikkinen. 1:35.47.6
For full results, see www.fis-ski.com
Contributing source: FIS