23-year-old Astrid Jacobsen (NOR) claimed victory on the 4 x 1.9 km course in the interval start freestyle race in Liberec (CZE). At the end of the race, she was only 0.4 seconds ahead of Justyna Kowalcyzk (POL), and 7.0 seconds ahead of Tour de Ski winner Charlotte Kalla (SWE). Kuitunen, the overall World Cup leader, finished 38th; it was the first time this season that she was out of the top 30.
Throughout the race, Astrid Jacobsen got stronger and stronger. At 4.9 km she was in 3rd, and at 6.8 km she had moved up to second, shortly behind Kowalczyk. Charlotte Kalla, thanks to her strong finish, earned the third podium spot today: at 4.9 km she was in 6th, and at 6.8 km she was in fifth.
This is Jacobsen's second victory of the season, the first being in the 15km freestyle race in Rybinsk, Russia. In total, she has been on the podium 7 times this season. Kowalczyk earned her 5th podium in this season; it was Kalla's third.
Kuitinen is still leading the overall World Cup, 89 points ahead of Kalla, and 109 points ahead of Jacobsen.
In the distance World Cup, Justyna Kowalczyk has a small lead, with 443 points. Astrid Jacobsen is second with 432 points, and Valentina Shevchenko follows with 391 points.
The next World Cup competition, a classic team sprint, will take place tomorrow.
Astrid Jacobsen (NOR):
I skied 2.5 laps yesterday. The conditions weren’t so good and I was a little bit angry. But during the night, the organizers did a very good job and made some new snow. I hope there will be more snow next year and longer tracks. I think it will be a good World Championships next year. I have now some good memories of Liberec.
Justyna Kowalyczk (POL):
I am very happy. I was sick… This track is… I don’t know what to say… the track was okay and the result was good. I liked it very much. There were my family and lots of polish people here because it’s close to Poland. And felt little bit like home but I was very very very tired.
Charlotte Kalla (SWE):
I’m very satisfied. Again, a podium place in the season, that is great. Yesterday, I was only running (jogging) through the tracks to get the impression and a picture of the place — it is nice here. I feel good and now I am looking forward to the next competition in my home country — in Falun.
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