The Russian men dominated yesterday's sprint, sweeping the podium and placing 4 in the top 5. The Germans nearly matched that performance today, finishing 1st, 3rd and 5th in the 15km classic. With many World Cup skiers in the huge 239 skier field, competition was stiff.
Two-time World Cup Champion, Tobias Angerer skied to an 11 second victory over Estonian Aivar Rehemma. Another former world Cup Champion, Axel Teichmann (GER) finished third, +12.44. Olympic medalist Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA) completed the three-loop course just one second behind Teichmann, edging out yet another German, Jens Filbrich, by .18 seconds.
Defending World Cup Champion and Tour de SKi winner, Lukas Bauer (CZE) finished 7th, just behind Andrus Verrpalu (EST), who shows he still has it, at age 37.
Chris Cook (USA) was the only North American in the race, skiing to a 45th place finish. Cook's time of 34:13.93 was 1:25.84 behind winner Angerer and put the American 22 seconds out of the top-twenty. The depth and tightness of the field in this FIS race demonstrates that once again cracking the top 30 on the World Cup will be extremely challenging.
In the women's 10km event, young Steffie Boehler of Germany skied to a 3.25 second victory over Olga Rotcheva (RUS). Veteran Evi Sachenbacher-Stelle gave the Germans 4 of 6 podium spots on the day, claiming third, +7.04. Germany and Russia combined to take 8 of the top 11 places in the women's race. Host Finland did not fare particularly well with Mona-Lisa Malvalehto leading the squad in 17th. Overall, 115 women completed the event, with World Cup skiers from Italy, Ukraine, Austria, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Japan joining the Russians, Germans and Finns.
Racing continues tomorrow with a 10/15km freestyle. Kris Freeman and ANdy Newell are scheduled to race for the Americans.
– Masako Ishida posted a strong performance for Japan, finishing 6th in the women's race.
– Julia Tchepalova (RUS) a former Olympic Gold medalist, who reitred, supposedly switched to Biathlon, and has been at a handful of cross-country races over the last year, finished 45th.
– Including the Junior events, 422 skiers raced today.
Full Results – 10/15km FIS Classic SCroll down and look for the link for “Result / Tulos 15.11.08.”
Related on FasterSkier:
The Season's Start: Muonio
Newell Wins Qualifier in Muonio, Falls in Semis – Includes links to sprint results.
– Andy Newell blog post.