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Freeman 16th, Best Race in Nine Weeks

Sun, Feb  10, 2008 - By US Ski Team

OTEPAEAE, Estonia (Feb. 9) - Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) was 16th Saturday in a 15K classic technique World Cup race, his best performance in nine weeks. World Cup leader Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic won the men's race while women's leader and defending champion Virpi Kuitunen of Finland captured the 10K CL race. Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) was 42nd.

Freeman, who was fifth Dec. 2 in a 15K classic race in Finland, has battled sickness since then. But Saturday, he skied into the three-lap race and finished with a time of 41.29.2. Bauer's winning time was 39:29.4 with Estonian Jaak Mae second in 38:43.1

Earlier, Kuitunen won the women's 10K in 28:10.5, putting her 9.3 seconds of teammate Aino Kaisa Saarinen. Randall, looking to added short-distance races to her traditional strength in sprinting, finished in 30:48.9.

A classic technique sprint is scheduled for Sunday. Americans Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) and Andy Newell (Craftsbury, VT) were 3-4 in the sprint a year ago.

Otepaeae, EST - Feb. 9, 2008

Men's 15K Classic

1. Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic, 39:29.4
2. Jaak Mae, Estonia, 39:43.1
3. Ville Nousiainen, Finland, 40:34.6
4. Andrus Veerpalu, Estonia, 40:40.2
5. Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset, Norway, 40:43.8
16. Kris Freeman, Andover, NH, 41:29.2
Women's 10K CL
1. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 28:10.5
2. Aina Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, 28:19.8
3. Therese Johaug, Norway, 28:28.1
4. Claudia Nystad, Germany, 28:29.5
5. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland, 28:38.5.
42. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, AK, 30:48.9

Click here for complete results.