Norwegians Dominate Classic Team Sprint in Liberec

FasterSkierFebruary 17, 2008

Norway won both the men's and women's classic team sprint this morning in Liberec (CZE). Marit Bjoergen and Astrid Jacobsen (Norway I) won for the ladies, and on the men’s side, Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Simen Oestensen (Norway II) claimed victory.

Bjoergen and Jacobsen finished the race 11.3 seconds ahead of team Finland I (Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Pirjo Muranen), controlling the race from start to finish. Russia I (Evgenia Shapovalova and Natalia Matveeva) took third place, 23.5 seconds behind the winning team.

The men's race ended with a tight finish. Martin J. Sundby and Simen Oestensen (Team NOR II) finished 0.4 seconds ahead of Finland I (Sami Jauhojaervi and Ville Nousiainen). Norway I (John Kristian Dahl and Eldar Roenning) finished third. Eldar Roenning broke his pole in the last uphill before the finish, losing contact with the others. It is the second time this season that Norway II has won a team competition — the first was in Beitostoelen (NOR) in November.

No North American team got passed the semifinals. The US women (Laura Valaas and Kikkan Randall) finished 13th out of 20 teams. The two Canadian teams did not start. For the men, US II (Chris Cook and Kris Freeman) took 15th out of 29 teams, while US I (Torin Koos and Andy Newell) finished in 17th. Canada finished in 14th (Devon Kershaw and Drew Goldsack) and 27th (Phil Widmer and George Gray).

The next World Cup competition will take place on Saturday 23rd of February, with a Pursuit race in in Falun.


Astrid Jacobsen (NOR):
I’m happy about my second victory in these days, but now I am really tired. It was a great race from me and Marit, and we earn some points for the team standing. We got the lead back from the ladies of Finland, and we would like to hold this lead until the end of the season.

Simen Oestensen (NOR):
I’m very satisfied about my race and my victory together with Martin. On Friday, when I saw the conditions, I was not so happy but the OC did a great job and made the race happened in equal conditions. I’m looking forward to World Championships.

Pirjo Manninen (FIN):
The semi-final was easy and the first round in the final was relaxed skiing. But I hoped that I could challenge the Norwegians better in the last round.

Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN):
I changed skis for the second round in the final. I think that was a mistake.

Sami Jauhojaervi and Ville Nousiainen (FIN):
We are so surprised that we beat our sprinters. It was an advantage for us to ski in the first semi final.

Natalia Matveeva (RUS):
It’s a great result for me in a classical race. I’m normally stronger in free technique. Now I can look forward also to the World Championships team sprint in the classical style.

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