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Favourite Kowalczyk takes pursuit victory

World Cup: Rybinsk

Sun, Jan  24, 2010 - By FIS

Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland dominate the Pursuit in Rybinsk as expected and won the race over 2 x 7,5km in 41:50.8min, 9,8 seconds ahead of Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle from Germany. Olga Schuchkina captured the last spot of the podium and finished 21,2 seconds behind Kowlaczyk on the third place.

Kowalczyk made the pace from the beginning on. After two kilometers she had already a little gap to her contenders. Behind her, there was a group with four Russians and Evi Sachenbacher Stehle from Germany who were fighting for the other podium spots. After an attack of Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle in the last round, the group was split. The German took her first podium place in this season with the second rank while Olga Schuchkina and Yulia Tchekaleva were fighting for the third place. In the final sprint Schuchkina was 0.9 seconds faster then her team mate Techekaleva.

With winning all intermediate bonus sprints, Justyna Kowalczyk won in total 130 World Cup points in this race and she is now clearly in the lead of the overall World Cup with being 268 points ahead of Petra Majdic, who is not at the start during this World Cup weekend in Rybinsk. Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) is in this ranking on the third place.

In the distance World Cup ranking, Kowalczyk increased her gap as well. She has now in total 676 points while Aino Kaisa Saarinen is second with 414 points.

Justyna Kowalczyk (POL)

It was my goal here to win this race. Therefore I was here. And also to gain as much as possible World Cup points for the overall World Cup ranking. The race was great. In classics everything was just perfect. The skis worked very well. In free technique I had to work a bit harder but I had nothing to do except for racing and racing forward. It is not so easy to ski alone but I felt confident.

Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (GER)

I'm really happy about my second place. I felt better and better during the race and manage to reach the Russian group and go ahead. This podium removed a stone from my heart as this season started not so well for me. Now I feel fine and hope to reach the top shape at Olympics.

Olga Schuchkina (RUS)

I'm very glad. It is my first ever podium in the WC races. The skis were wonderful. I started well and stayed in the leading group during the whole race. Then I joined Evi's spurt and finished third as a result.