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Sprint victory for Majdic and Naess at Canmore

Thu, Jan  24, 2008 - By FIS

Petra Majdic from Slovenia and Boerre Naess from Norway are the winners of the classical sprint race on the challenging 1,2 km loop in Canmore.

Majdic made her 5th World Cup victory in a very tight race with photo finish ahead of the Norwegian Astrid Jacobsen. Third was taken by Justyna Kowalcyzk, who is celebrating her birthday today. As well in the A-finial skied Virpi Kuitunen (4th place), Pirjo Muranen (5th place, both FIN) and Alena Prochazkova (6th place, SVK).

In the overall World Cup standing, Virpi Kuitunen is coming closer and closer to Charlotte Kalla, who is in the lead with 795 points. Kuitunen follows with 755 points and in third position is the Italian Arianna Follis (646 points).

In the sprint World Cup ranking Astrid Jacobsen is still in the lead with 272 points ahead of today's winner Petra Majdic (218 points) and the Russian Natalia Matveeva (214 points), who finished 8th in today's race.

Boerre Naess is the winner of the men's race. He claimed victory ahead of his team mates Ola Vigen Hattestad and Eldar Roenning. The Norwegians also took positions 4 and 5 with Anders Gloersen (4th) and Tor Arne Hetland (5th). The only non-Norwegian skier in the A-Final was the 22-year-old Russian Nikita Kriukov, who made that his second A-Final after being 5th in Kuusamo in December 2007.

Lukas Bauer is still clearly in the lead of the overall World Cup ranking with 816 points. Second is Tor Arne Hetland with 560 points, while René Sommerfeldt is ranked third.

In the sprint World Cup standing, Tor Arne Hetland is now the leader with 200 points. Second is Ola Vigen Hattestad (196 points) and in third position is Johan Kjoelstad with 173 points.

The next races in Canmore will be on Friday, 25th of January after a rest day– the traditional interval start races in free technique over 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men) are on the schedule.


Petra Majdic (SLO):
The race was perfect for me. Close to the finish I kept thinking I can not. I can. Astrid is very strong at pulling. It was tight. It was very good for me. Now I have motivation, so it's perfect.

It is much better to be winning by 30 meters than cross the finish and wonder who won. The tracks are not as easy as they look. They were very hard, and always changing. A lot changes for the finish line.

Astrid Jacobsen (NOR): I am very satisfied with my race today. I didn't ski as well in the Tour de Ski. It is great to get that good feeling back. I tried to come back in the last 100 meters. I had a week at home after the Tour de Ski before I came to Canada. I have been here for over a week now.

My goal for the season is to be on the podium for the overall sprint. I will try. We haven't done more than half of the World Cup races. There is much more to come.

Justyna Kowalcyzk (POL): It was my first time on the podium for classic. It is very good for me. The track was hard and cold, and for me that is best.

Boerre Naess (NOR): I chose to double pull, and it was very good. I felt stronger and stronger through the quarters, semi and final. I was a very good day for me.

No wax for me. I went for skating ski. It was hard, especially at the highest point. Going up to the finish line, the last 100 or 200 meters was really long. If you lost your pull before that, you were gone. I hope for the same results on Saturday, and yes, the same three.

Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR): It was a hard day for me. I also chose the double pulling style. The last climb was very hard. My next race is on Saturday and I will hopefully be in good shape. I think I am second overall now. Hopefully there will be a lot of good sprint races left this season.

Eldar Roenning (NOR): I used Classic skis in qualifying and in the quarters to save my arms and upper body. I used Skating skis in the semi and final. I was feeling strong. In the end Boerre and Ola were stronger. I am not sure about the races on Saturday. Hopefully this result today can change something. I have been here one time before. Canmore suits me well. Yesterday was not so good, but today I did much better.

Norwegian skiers are training a lot on upper body. Some skiers are very fast in double pulling and some in Classic so, in Classic races, we have this aspect also.

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