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Kuitunen and Vittoz in the lead

Sun, Mar  16, 2008 - By FIS

After the second day of the World Cup Final in Bormio/St. Caterina, Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) and the French Vincent Vittoz were in the lead of the World Cup Final ranking. Both of them finished first in the classical Mass start race.

In the 10 km classical mass start race on the challenging course in St. Caterina, Virpi Kuitunen was crossing the finish line in first after having a tight fight with Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) on the last meters. Kuitunen finished 0,6 seconds ahead of Kowalczyk. The Norwegian Marit Bjoergen (NOR) took the third place, 3,0 seconds behind the winner.

Thanks to her 30 bonus seconds, Kuitunen is now leading the World Cup Final standing after the yesterday's prologue and the today's 10 km with a total time of 38:21.8 minutes, only 2,5 seconds behind is Justyna Kowlaczyk and in third place follows Claudia Nystad (GER), already 27,6 seconds behind Kuitunen.

In the men's race, Vincent Vittoz attacked already at km 1,5 and took the lead and hold on until the end of the race. The second in the finish was the overall World Cup winner Lukas Bauer (CZE) 18,3 seconds behind Vittoz and in third position followed Tord Asle Gjerdalen from Norway.

With all the intermediate sprint bonus points, 1.15 min in total, Vincent Vittoz is in the lead of the World Cup Final ranking with a total time of 58:48,8 minutes, 57,5 seconds ahead of Lukas Bauer. Tord Asle Gjerdalen is third, 1:42.6 minute behind Vittoz, who managed today his first top place in a classical race on World Cup level.

The next and last race of the World Cup Final and the Cross-Country World Cup season 2007/2008 will be tomorrow, 10 km (ladies) and 15 km (men) handicap start race. Starting times are 14.00h for ladies and 16.00h for men. After the races, all the overall Prize Giving Ceremonies will take place.


Virpi Kuitunen (FIN):
I'm really happy about my today's performance. It was a tough race and a tight fight with Justyna, but at the end, I made it. I tried, not to loose too much energies and didn't fight for the intermediate bonus seconds. My tactic for tomorrow is to finish under the top 15th, than I am for sure the overall World Cup winner.

Vincent Vittoz (FRA): It was a great race for me today; I had a good shape and a perfect ski with a good kick. I wasn't on the podium before in this season, only two times fourth. I didn't compete in all the races, that's why I had maybe some energies left to go in the lead. I will now try to recover fast and I hope I will take the victory tomorrow for this World Cup Final.

Lukas Bauer (CZE): I made a mistake in the first round; I didn't followed Vittoz and stayed behind. When I than started to attack, the gap was already really big and Vincent did a great race. Today, Vincent was clearly stronger than I, he is the right winner.
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