Team Germany with Stefanie Böhler and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and the Russians with Nikolay Morilov and Alexei Petukhov won the last team sprint before the Olympics under cold conditions in Rybinsk, Russia.
The strong ladies from Germany captured the victory in a time of 17:04.6, just 3,9 seconds ahead of the team from Slovenia with Katja Visnar and Vesna Fabjan. In third place was Russia I with Irina Khazova and Olga Rotcheva, 4,5 second behind the winning team.
In the exciting men's race, the favourites with Nikolay Morilov and Alexei Petukhov took the victory 0,6 second ahead of team Italy II with Fabio Pasini and Loris Frasnelli. Despite a fall in the last round, Team Germany with Tim Tscharnke and Josef Wenzl took the third rank, 5,2 seconds behind the Russians.
With a strong performance this weekend, the Russians moved into the lead of the nations cup. They are now with 6160 on the first place ahead of the Norwegians, which have currently 5833 points. On third place is the Swedish Team.
The race was tough because we have a difficult transfer to Canada today and it was hard to concentrate. Besides each athlete runs 3 times - it is also not easy especially in the last leg.
Alexei Petukov (RUS)
Yeah, the race was hard. As qualification was cancelled it was difficult to make muscles ready for the final. But the audience warmed us up as always.
Fabio Pasini (ITA)
I'm satisfied with my two sprint races here in Rybinsk. I hope to get back here again and show better results.
Loria Frasnelli (ITA)
I'm happy about our podium. The last leg was tough, the tactics was very important before the finish. It is great here but I hope when we are back it is a little bit warmer;-)
Tim Tscharnke (GER)
We managed to be third here. I'm satisfied as the race is a hard one and the competitors are strong. I'm now going to the U23 World Championships and having three races next week before concentrating on the Olympics.
Stefanie Boehler (GER)
I like Rybinsk: the track and of course the audience. People always greet us so nice. We'll surely get back here again. I knew that I have to attack in the last round here, three rounds can be tough so I concentrate myself on my final round to give Evi a good gap into her race. The tactic worked very well.
Evi Sachenbacher Stehle (GER)
The race today was excellent. We had good skis and wonderful support from the audience. And we're a great team!
Vesna Fabian (SLO)
I'm happy. It's my second podium here this year. The weekend was great! The race himself today was tough, three rounds on this 1,3 km track are demanding but fortunately we had no qualification today.
Olga Rotcheva (RUS)
I'm really satisfied with our third place. I'm only starting to get to the shape so this race was a good indicator. And thanks for the organizers.