Hanna Falk (SWE) and Alexei Petukov (RUS) are the winners for the City Sprint in free technique in Düsseldorf.
On the 828 m long course, the Swedish youngter Hanna Falk took her first ever World Cup victory in her career. The athete from south of Sweden finished in a tight sprint in the Final ahead of the Russian Natalia Korosteleva. The third spot took Vesa Fabjan (SLO) who made with that result her first podium place ever in her World Cup career.
Just edged out of the podium with the fourth place was Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE). On fifth place finished Celine Brun-Lie (NOR) and six was Kirsi Peraelae (FIN).
For Falk, who is the first year in the senior class, it was an amazing success on the quite flat course in Düsseldorf. It was her second World Cup start after Kuusamo last week, was fourth fastest in the today's qualification and sprinted on in the Final to her first victory in a World Cup race.
Aino Kaisa Saarinen, who was not competing today, is still in the lead of the overall World Cup while the today's winner Hanna Falk is now in the red bib for the Sprint World Cup standing.
The Russian Alexei Petukhov claimed victory in the men's race on the 1,5 km long course just ahead of both Norwegians Anders Gloeersen and Eirik Brandsdal. On fourth place finished John Kristian Dahl, Ola Vigen Hattestad took the fifth place and Nikolay Morilov, the brother of Natalia Korosteleva was six.
For the 26-year-old Petukhov it was as well the first ever World Cup victory. While Anders Gloeersen was for the third time on a World Cup podium after two victories in the season 2007/2008. Eirik Brandsdal could celebrate today his first ever World Cup podium on the tight sprint in Düsseldorf.
In the overall World Cup ranking, Petter Northug (NOR) is still in the lead with 5 points ahead of Ola Vigen Hattestad. Alexei Petukhov is now third. In the lead of the sprint World Cup is Ola Vigen Hattestad 45 points ahead of Petukhov and John Kristian Dahl (NOR).
Hanna Falk (SWE):
It´s my first time on the podium - my first victory! It´s amazing because it´s just my second World Cup. I liked the track here very much - it´s the kind of track that allows to go very fast.
Natalia Korosteleva (RUS):
"It was a great race today. I am happy to be back on the podium of an individual race after two years. I hope to be as well in shape for the Olympics. Now I will got to Davos to prepare me for the next races."
Vesna Fabjan (SLO):
"It is my first time on the podium - and I am happy, happy, happy! I was hoping for sunshine for todays races - but no matter if it´s raining or snowing - I like it here!
Alexei Petukhov (RUS):
"I was very confident, that I would win but I didn´t have many opportunities to practice. I had a little down several months ago but now I am feeling better from month to month.
I have a very good start force and I was very strong today and also had a little luck. So it all came together.
We want to be as strong as other successful nation and we are proud to fight with our Norwegian friends. So thanks to the Norwegian colleagues for the tough fight."
Anders Gloeersen (NOR):
I tried to take the lead to get the others tired. In the last round I knew that my plan worked and that the others were getting tired. I felt very good during the last weeks and skating is my best technique. I think in Düsseldorf the snow condition is impressive: I thought it might be a loose track - but it was hard! It was very good to get speed. I´m very satisfied."
Eirik Brandsdal (NOR):
"It´s my first time on the podium - and it felt very good! I love Düsseldorf - I like the people, the atmosphere and the track. It was very good for speeding and a tight race. Building a team with Anders tomorrow will be a good opportunity to repeat Norways good result from last year and win the team sprint."