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Double victory for Norway: Jacobsen ahead of Bjoergen

Sat, Feb  23, 2008 - By FIS

Astrid Jacobsen took the third victory in a row in 7,5 km + 7,5 km Pursuit race in Falun after being first in the Interval start and the Team Sprint in Liberec last weekend.

Jacobsen claimed victory in a time of 41:34.2 min, 5,9 seconds ahead of her team mate Marit Bjoergen (NOR). Third place took Aino Kaisa Saarinen from Finland, 14.3 seconds behind the winner.

Jacobsen and Bjoergen showed a strong performance to the 10'000 spectators on-site and were in front after the pit stop at 7,5 km. Soon the youngster, Marte Elden from Norway joins them and these three athletes were making the speed ahead of the main group. In the first free technique loop, at the beginning of the famous ‘Mördarbacken' (Killer hill), Jacobsen attacked and the other had to let her go way.

For the Sprint World Champion Jacobsen, it was the third single World Cup victory in a distance race in her career and also in the season. She didn't win a sprint World Cup by now. Marit Bjoergen could manage today her fourth podium place while Aino Kaisa Saarinen can celebrate her first podium place ever in her career in a Pursuit race.

The fight of the overall World Cup is getting tougher and tougher. The winner of the today's race, Astrid Jacobsen is now attacking the lead of Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) who is only 31 points ahead of Jacobsen (2nd place). But also, the Swedish Tour de Ski star Charlotte Kalla is not so far, only 100 points behind Kuitunen.

The distance World Cup is now led by Astrid Jacobsen with 532 points ahead of Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, 475 points) and Valentina Shevchenko (UKR, 427 points).

Quotes:

Astrid Jacobsen (NOR): I'm in a really good shape. The classical and the skating part worked well. But the ‘Mördarbacken' is painful! I will now ski all the World Cup races if I'm staying healthy and I would really like to win a Sprint World Cup and not being always second behind Majdic. That's my most important goal now.”

Marit Bjoergen (NOR): I'm very satisfied with the second place in the today's race. The tracks here, fit's me well and I must say I like the ‘Mördarbacken' – it's long and hard. Astrid is in a good shape and she needs the points in the overall more than me – so she is the right winner. I will not go to Stockholm and save my energy for Holmenkollen – I hope I will be there in a good shape”.

Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN): My classical part was not so good. But in the free technique part, I skied as perfect as I can in this technique. Now I'm really waiting for the races in Lahti – I hope I can show there a good performance.