OTEPAAE, Estonia (Jan. 24) - Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic won his first World Cup of the season Saturday in a 15K classic race in Otepaae, Estonia. The 2006 Olympic silver medalist is fourth in the season's distance standings. Germany's Axel Teichmann finished fourth to retain his lead in the season's distance standings.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) was 33rd in the women's 10K race as she prepares for tomorrow's sprints where she'll look to build on momentum from a fourth place finish in a team sprint last week in Vancouver.
The women's race was won by Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland in 26:25.6. She also won the pursuit race at next year's Olympic venue last week. The win moves her to third in the overall standings.
Kowalczyk led at both the 2.3K and 7.3K marks to finish nearly half a minute ahead of Aino Kaisa Saarinen of Finland. Third-place finisher, Virpi Kuitunen of Finland came back from the fifth-best first split for a podium spot.
In the men's race, Dario Cologna finished fifth, easily retaining his overall lead. Johan Olsson of Sweden finished second, two seconds behind leader Bauer and Frenchman Vincent Vittozcame in third.
No American men started in the event.
Sunday, the Americans will race a classic sprint. Look for Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT), Torin Koos (Leavenworth, WA) and Randall, who will all be vying for top spots.
VIESSMANN CROSS COUNTRY FIS WORLD CUP
Otepaae, Estonia - Jan. 24, 2008
Men's 15k Classic
1. Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic, 35:43.6
2. Johan Olsson, Sweden, 35:45.1
3. Vincent Vittoz, France, 35:52.9
4. Axel Teichmann, Germany, 35:56.5
5. Dario Cologna, Switzerland, 36:02.8
Women's 10K Classic
1. Justyna Kowalczyk, Poland, 26:25.6
2. Aino Kaisa Saarinen, Finland, 26.51.8
3. Petra Majdic, Slovenia, 27:12.2
4. Virpi Kuitunen, Finland, 27:17.4
5. Therese Johaug, Norway, 27:23.6
33. Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, 28:55.0
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