Ole Einar Bjørndalen took off from the gate and only the leading Swede Per Elofsson managed to beat Bjørndalen in Sunday's men's 10k skate in Finland.
The Chech Republic's Katerian Nuemannova won Sunday's World Cup 5k skate cross country for women in Finland. She was followed by Tschepalova and Smigun, 6 Russians in top 9.
Saturday's winner, Bente Skari, barely managed top 30.
Top 10, full results below:
1 66 NEUMANNOVA, Katerina CZE 12:56.1
2 86 TCHEPALOVA, Julija RUS 13:05.1 +9.0
3 65 SMIGUN, Kristina EST 13:07.9 +11.8
4 82 GAVRIILJUK, Nina RUS 13:09.5 +13.4
5 69 DANILOVA, Olga RUS 13:11.7 +15.6
6 72 BELMONDO, Stefania ITA 13:18.1 +22.0
7 90 SAVIALOVA, Olga RUS 13:25.8 +29.7
8 48 BARANOVA-MASOLKINA, Natalia RUS 13:25.9 +29.8
9 78 EGOROVA, Ljubov RUS 13:27.6 +31.5
10 87 VARIS, Kaisa FIN 13:32.0 +35.9
Per Elofsson from Sweden finished 9th in cross country World Cup in Kuopio on Saturday, having 8 Norwegians in front. The Swedish paid it all back on Sunday and won the race of 10 k.
- It is nice to win today. Yesterday I was not in 100 percent shape, but today I had good race, Elofsson smiled.
He said free technique is much easier to him.
- I have a little problems with my classic technique, small details to work with.
Elofsson was not really surprised about Ole Einar Björndalen´s second place. Biathletes can ski very fast, Elofsson said.
When Mathias Fredriksson and others are struggling, Elofsson is the lonely rider in Swedish cross country team. For example Norwegians can have tough test races between the teammates, especially in classic technique.
- It would be nice if we could have some tough test races during the training camps, Elofsson admitted.
Thomas Alsgaard, 3rd on Sunday heard the wish and grin immediately:
- You are welcome to our training camp!
The biathlete Ole Einar Björndalen raced his second time in cross country World Cup.
- I am really satisfied. One week ago in Beitostölen I got tired, but today I felt better. Biathlon is on top on my priorities, but if I find time to do more cross country races, I will try 30 k next. I raced here because I felt I was in good shape and I just wanted to prove it, Björndalen said.
Alsgaard is still not in his best shape, but he is improving.
- Some speed is still missing, I hope to be a little faster. In Norway we have 6-7 skiers who can win World Cup races in classic technique, and we have been having hard competitions during summer, Alsgaard said.
He reminded though that also last winter in Beitostölen the Norwegians had really good start (the top 7 were Norwegians), but Lahti World Championships were not that succesful.
Czech Katerina Neumannova raced her first race of the season on Sunday and claimed the victory in 5 k in Kuopio.
- We have been last 3 weeks in Kiruna, Sweden, and had no competitions there. This discipline is one of my favourites, but I had only Kristina Smigun (of the top athletes) starting before me, so I didn´t really know what was going on during the race behind me, Neumannova said.
- I have been having good training during the summer and fall, and I am very happy and satisfied with the start of the olympic season. I liked the tracks in Soldier Hollow (she won the pre-olympic race in last january), but the high altitude will be hard, she said about the upcoming games in Salt Lake City.
Kristina Smigun from Estonia got third place.
- This course was hard for me, because I have been training in Levi, Finland, and there the courses have been easier, Smigun said.
Smigun raced in front of the red group, and said that was difficult too. Last season she was struggling, and said the summer 2000 she trained too hard.
- I got 2nd place in World Cup overall 1999-2000, and I wanted to beat Bente Skari (the overall winner of that season). I trained very hard in summer, but winter was very difficult for me and then I got sick and the season ended too early, Smigun said.
Julia Tshepalova finished 2nd and was naturally happy about her race. She said even though she has trained more classic technique, she has a lot better basis in free technique.
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