Lahti, Finland – Alexander Legkov (RUS) won his second career World Cup, beating Italian Pietro Piller Cottrer by 7.5 seconds. Christian Hoffman (AUT) was third.
The 25-year old Legkov was first at every checkpoint en route to the victory.
“I’m really happy about today’s success,” said Legkov. “It was a great race and I gave my all. Liberec was not so good for me but now I am back and would like to fight for other podiums in Falun.”
Piller Cottrer is gunning for the overall World Cup distance title. He currently holds a 53 point lead on Dario Cologna (SUI).
“It was a great race and a nice fight between me and Alexander. I had good skis and I like the course. I was here in Lahti for the first time in 1995 – a long time ago – but it there always a nice audience here that cheers for everybody!
“I will next race the 50 km in Trondheim if my coaches agree, and then I’m looking forward to the World Cup final. My goal is the distance World Cup.”
Hoffman, with only three World Cup starts prior to today, showed strong form. He had been focused on the 50k in Liberec, but finished 25th.
“I’m in good shape,” said Hoffman. “In Liberec it did not work out in the 50km ,but today it was perfect. I’m satisfied with my first podium in this season and hope that I can be as good in Falun. I will skip Trondheim as I am not so good in the classical technique.”
The US was led by Garrott Kuzzy in 62nd, +2:20. The performance was Kuzzy’s second-best World Cup distance result as measured by FIS points.
Leif Zimmerman and Chris Cook finished 71st and 72nd respectively, with just 2 seconds separating the pair. Colin Rodgers rounded out the US racers in 87th.
The Canadian team struggled with top skiers Ivan Babikov and Devon Kershaw in 37th and 42nd. George Grey was 46th, Alex Harvey 50th, and Dave Nighbor 82nd.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.