Pethukhov and Follis Lead Sprint Qualifying, Newell, Kershaw, and Randall In

Topher SabotDecember 13, 2009

Davos, Switzerland – Alexey Petukhov (RUS) showed last week’s domination in Dusseldorf was no fluke.  The Russian sprinter posted the fastest time in the men’s 1.7 km freestyle sprint qualification this morning.  Arianna Follis (ITA) was the fastest woman in qualification – for the second week in a row.

Petukhov’s time of 3:43.34 was 1.52 seconds faster than runner-up Jesper Modin (SWE).  Anders Gloeersen (NOR) qualified 3rd.

Despite the long course, only 8.46 seconds separated the top-30.

Andy Newell led the North Americans, qualifying 7th, just over four seconds off of Petukhov.  Newell has finished 7th in both the individual sprints this year, and is looking to crack the final for the first time.

Devon Kershaw (CAN) wasn’t far behind, following up his 9th yesterday in the 15km freestyle by qualifying in 12th today.

Torin Koos (USA) just missed making the heats for the first time this season – he finished 32nd, 1 second out of 30th.

Other top skiers who missed the heats include Bjorn Lind (SWE), Axel Teichmann (GER) and Fabio Pasini (ITA).

Defending World Cup sprint Champion Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) barely squeaked through in 29th.

Norway qualified six for the heats with Sweden and Russia each sending five to the next round.

Dario Cologna (SUI) bounced back from a disappointing race yesterday to qualify in 4th.

Canadians Alex Harvey and George Grey were 49th and 60th respectively, while Kris Freeman took 57th for the US.

In the women’s race, Follis, who also won the qualification round last week in Dusseldorf, set the standard with a time of 3:22.23, 1.17 seconds ahead of Claudia Nystad (GER).  Petra Majdic (SLO) was 3rd.

Kikkan Randall was the lone North American to advance, qualifying in 17th place, just under six seconds in back of Follis. 8.57 seconds separated the top-30.

Chandra Crawford (CAN) was a disappointing 57th, 7 seconds out of the top-30.  Crawford has generally performed better on faster courses, so it is possible that she struggled in the long format of today.

Perianne Jones was 50th and Sara Renner 59th for Canada.

Liz Stephen finished 51st and Morgan Arritola 77th for the US.

Topher Sabot

Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.

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