KUUSAMO, Finland (Nov. 26) - Norway's Eldar Roenning and Virpi Kuitunen of Finland won rainy classic technique World Cup cross country races Sunday. Top American on the day was Kris Freeman (Andover, NH), who finished 33rd in the men's 15K CL.
Roenning had a winning time of 38:35.2 with Vincent Vittoz of France, who had the fastest time through every checkpoint until fasing at the end, second in 38:51.1. Freeman finished in 40:28.4 Kuitunen led all the way to win in 28:01.2, 45 seconds ahead of World Cup leader Marit Bjoergen of Norway (28:45.3). Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) was 68th. "It rained really hard early on - through the women's race and then stopped, but conditions were really soft for the guys, very wet snow," Head Coach Pete Vordenberg said. "It was a disappointing day, for sure, but we're not going to panic. Kris skied hard; he struck to the game plan - start conservatively and then pick it up, but unfortunately that didn't happen. It was disappointing, for sure, but we're not going to panic; it's early - we're not through the first month of the season, and we're pressing on." The cross country schedule now has nearly a two-week break before resuming in snow-troubled central Europe with freestyle technique sprints Dec. 8 in Aosta, Italy. VIESSMANN CROSS COUNTRY WORLD CUP Nordic Opening Kuusamo, FIN - Nov. 26, 2006 Men's 15K CL 1. Eldar Roenning, Norway, 38:35.2 2. Vincent Vittoz, France, 38:51.1 3. Anders Soedergren, Sweden, 38:53.5 4. Mathias Fredriksson, Sweden, 39:02.7 5. Jaak Mae, Estonia, 39:04.7 - 33. Kris Freeman, Andover, NH, 4028.4 68. Andrew Johnson, Greensboro, VT, 41:44.5 70. Dave Chamberlain, Bethel, Maine, 41:52.4 -- Women's 10K CL 1. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 28:01.2 2. Marit Bjoergen, Norway, 28:45.3 3. Kristina Smigun, Estonia, 28:50.4 4. Katerina Neumannova, Czech Republic, 28:52.5 5. Vibeke Skofterud, Norway, 28:58.9 - 68. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK, 31:44.9 For complete results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=CC&event_id=21564