World Cup Leaders Win in Finland
LAHTI, Finland (March 2) - Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic won the men's 15K classic individual race in a cross country World Cup on Sunday in Lahti. Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) led two other U.S. skiers in the race in 51st.
"It was a hard course. There were lots of climbs and the conditions were really soft," said Sprint Head Coach Chris Grover. "The snow was sugary and if you're having an off day and your skis aren't 100 percent it makes things hard.
"Leif [Zimmermann; Bozeman, MT] was feeling tired from the get go so he dropped out right away. We had Garrott [Kuzzy; Hayward, WI], who is a stronger skater than he is a classic skier. Kris didn't have the best day. He felt like his skis were a little slick. He felt like he needed a little more kick."
Bauer's win enabled him to maintain his lead in the World Cup standings over Rene Sommerfeldt of Germany who finished second.
Women's 10K winner Virpi Kuitunen of Finland extended her lead in the World Cup standings over Norwegian Astrid Jacobsen.
Cross country now heads to the Drammen World Cup for sprints on Wednesday, which leads up to the biggest event in nordic skiing - the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Oslo with long distance races March 8.
2008 VIESSMANN FIS WORLD CUP CROSS COUNTRY
Lahti Ski Games
Lahti, FIN - March 1, 2008
1. Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic, 36:35.0
2. Rene Sommerfeldt, Germany, 36:55.6
3. Sergey Cherepanov, Kazakhstan, 37:01.5
4. Sami Jauhojaervi, Finland, 37:07.1
5. Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset, Norway, 37:08.1
51. Kris Freeman, Andover, NH
73. Garrott Kuzzy, Hayward, WI
DNF: Leif Zimmermann, Bozeman, MT
1. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 28:06.3
2. Valentina Shevchenko, Ukraine, 28:11.0
3. Katrin Zeller, Germany, 28:11.9
4. Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, 28:12.3
5. Marianna Longa, Italy, 28:15.1