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World Cup Final won by Kuitunen and Vittoz

Mon, Mar  17, 2008 - By FIS

The winners of the final weekend in Bormio/St. Caterina are Virpi Kuitunen and Vincent Vittoz from France. Kuitunen won also her second overall World Cup title, while Lukas Bauer fixed his first overall World Cup victory already 1.5 weeks ago.

The winners of the final weekend in Bormio/St. Caterina are Virpi Kuitunen and Vincent Vittoz from France. Kuitunen won also her second overall World Cup title, while Lukas Bauer fixed his first overall World Cup victory already 1,5 weeks ago.

In the final free technique 10 km handicap start race of the three-days-competitions World Cup Final, Virpi Kuitunen claimed victory in a sprint 0,3 seconds ahead of Justyna Kowalczyk (POL). In third position finished Claudia Nystad (GER), 39,6 seconds behind the winner.

Kowalczyk was attacking from the start and took over Kuitunen after 1 km. Kuitunen was at the second intermediate point at 6,9 km on the top of the hill already 15 seconds behind but than she was getting faster and faster and was able to fight for the victory on the finish straight.

Kuitunen won with this victory also the overall World Cup – for the second time after the season 2007/2008. Second place in this ranking took Astrid Jacobsen, 297 behind Kuitunen. Justyna Kowalczyk is third with being 456 points behind Kuitunen.

The overall distance World Cup was won as well by Virpi Kuitunen with 729 points, just ahead of Valentina Shevchenko (UKR, 707 points) and Justyna Kowalczyk (661 points).

The winner of the sprint World Cup is for the first time Petra Majdic (SLO) with 609 points. With this victory, she won the first globe for the Cross-Country team of Slovenia. On second place is Astrid Jacobsen (570 points) and on third place Virpi Kuitunen (538 points).

The World Cup Final, with the last competition today over 15 km in free technique, was won by French Vincent Vittoz clearly 1:10,2 minute ahead of the overall World Cup winner Lukas Bauer (CZE). Third place on this challenging course took the home favorite Giogio di Centa in the finish sprint, 1:58,5 minutes behind the winner. For Vittoz it was the first World Cup victory in this season after being two times fourth in World Cup competitions.

The overall World Cup was clearly won by the Czech Lukas Bauer with 1462 points. On second place follows the German René Sommerfeldt (829 points) and the third place took the Italian Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA, 783 points).

Lukas Bauer was also the best in the distance World Cup ranking with 986 points ahead of Pietro Piller Cottrer with 516 points and René Sommerfeldt with 494 points.

Ola Vigen Hattestad could celebrate his first overall sprint World Cup title. He won only 2 points ahead of Emil Joensson (SWE) and 129 points ahead of his team mate John Kristian Dahl.

The Norwegians were the strongest team in this season, they won the Nations Cup (ladies & men together) and also the individual ranking – the team cup of the ladies and the team cup of the men's.

Quotes:

Virpi Kuitunen (FIN): ”I didn't believe I could win today! The difference was so big at one moment that I didn't think Kowalczyk would lose it also today. Then, when I started to hear the gap was not increasing and then started to decrease, then I wanted to try (to win) until the final end and it was worth it. Still, 10 meters before the finish line I was not sure whether I can catch Justyna or not, so the feeling when I crossed the finish line was awesome. Today I had to ski the pace my back let me, I had to control it really carefully and go only that fast when I can still tolerate the pain. I guess that is why I saved some energy, there was no point during the race where the speed would have been too much. These two overall titles are both equally valuable at their own ways: last season everything worked and the whole season was like a dream. This season I really had to fight hard to come back after all the sicknesses, as I was sick 4 times this season. So the achievement is different kind but both are just as great. This time it was just really heavy duty to get the overall title. It was my only goal this season, to win the overall title, and I did it!”

Lukas Bauer (CZE): I am only happy about my overall World Cup victory. It is amazing – I had a dream season. The race today was tough, I saw quite soon that I couldn't close the gap between me and Vincent. Now I will celebrate with my team and enjoy this awesome victory – during the season there was not time for that.

For complete results, please visit www.fis-ski.com